Buyers keen to get their hands on the next version of Microsoft Office are in for a bargain. Gateway 2000 is already offering PC buyers an upgrade voucher that entitles purchasers to a £20 upgrade to Office 97 when it ships early in February 1997.
"We've got it now and I haven't heard of anybody else having it," confirmed Gateway 2000 UK marketing manager, John Shepheard.
Dell, traditionally one of the nimblest of Gateway's direct sales rivals, said it was surprised Gateway was offering the deal. "It seems an unusual decision [and] they're probably losing on it," said David Moore, marketing communications manager for Dell Direct.
"We're concentrating on products that are available now. We haven't had much in the way of customer interest but if you look at Gateway's customer base our estimate is it's 60 per cent consumer."
PCDN Comment: The conventional wisdom has long held that the changes in file formats required by Office 97 will mean a slow burn for the suite, particularly in corporates. Also, Gateway has always cut a mean deal. That said, this pricing is still amazingly low and sends out a warning to Lotus and Corel that Microsoft will not lightly let go of this key part of its business.