Still no sign of Vista coupons

Still no sign of Vista coupons

Summary: Microsoft rolled out on October 12 a partial list of third-party peripherals and software that will be certified to interoperate with Windows Vista in time for the holiday season.

TOPICS: Windows

Microsoft rolled out on October 12 a partial list of third-party peripherals and software that will be certified to interoperate with Windows Vista in time for the holiday season. But the company still has yet to drop the much bigger shoe, by announcing the Vista coupon deal that it will offer with its PC partners to entice customers to buy Vista-ready machines, even though Vista won't launch officially until January 2007.

Microsoft is expected to unveil the technical-guarantee coupon deal later this month. But no one at the Digital Life show, at which Microsoft made the Vista compatibility announcement today, uttered a peep about the pending program.

The lack of coupon specifics didn't stop analysts with the Gartner Group (whose track record on Vista predictions lately has been pretty dismal, I have to note) from pouring cold water on Microsoft's coupon plans.

If Microsoft and its partners do end up charging consumers who buy XP Home Edition now the rumored $49 fee to upgrade to Vista Home Basic and $79 to Vista Home Premium, "it is doubtful whether the Express Upgrade program will be able to drive consumer PC sales this holiday season," said the Gartner analysts, via a blog entry. "But if the PCs bought with Windows Media Center will be entitled to a free upgrade coupon, then Microsoft could persuade some of the consumers to purchase Media Center PCs in the fourth quarter," Gartner added.

Like many Microsoft watchers, Gartner is not expecting many businesses to upgrade to Vista in the near term, negating the value of any kind of tech-guarantee coupon deal for even small-business customers.

At Digital Life, Michael Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Client Marketing, took the wraps off a list of more than 250 hardware and software products from over 50 vendors that already have received either the “Certified for Windows Vista” or “Works with Windows Vista” logo.

Close to 100 percent of the PCs currently on retailers' shelves are at least Windows-Capable, said Justin Hutchinson, group product manager for Windows client, who participated in Sievert's keynote address. Sievert added that most hardware and software introduced over the past few years will be Vista-compatible; the new "certified for Windows Vista" and "Works with Windows Vista" marks are just designed to provide users with an additional level of confidence.

(Exactly which apps are and are not Vista-compatible still remains to be seen, of course.)

Even though Microsoft has been talking about Vista for a long time, at last, "this launch is upon us," Sievert told attendees.

Topic: Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • After seeing the draconian license terms of Vista, who cares?

    • Which one?

      Which draconian term? The one that states "...this software is not licensed to indivisuals that ripped it off..."

      That one?
    • I hope India and China are forced to upgrade to Vista.

      With their piracy rates, they'd be shut down in no time.

      In theory.
      • I predict....

        <p>That Microsoft is so poorly written, that there will be loads of copied VISTA DVD?s that not only get around the WGA issue but have cracks for all versions of VISTA. Of course, those hacks will no doubt be plugged by the first SP1 that rolls out.</p>

        <p>I also believe that after the first SP (Service Pack), any company stupid enough to deploy Vista in a critical manner will be crying like babies because the first SP most assuredly will break something of a critical nature causing massive loss of business and down time, enough that those such companies will end up closing their doors.</p>

        <p>I also believe that legitimate businesses will be shut down because WGA will falsely accuse them of running illegal copies of Vista, report them to Microsoft as being illegal, causing a launch of an audit trail, and that company footing the bill. So I believe costs to run Microsoft VISTA will extend beyond just the purchasing of the software. Auditors will end up needing to be paid, for a glitch cause by Microsoft. The real problem would be if this glitch happened on a consistent basis adding more money to the accounts payable of the company foolish enough to run VISTA.</p>

        <p>I believe company IT personnel will end up with more problems with deployment, integration and merging of servers that will not be VISTA compliant. IT will have problems trying to access client systems if the built in firewall should enable itself. They will have problems if WGA kicks in due to a program loading or just dumb luck. IT will not be able to deploy in the basic sense as VISTA will not be IT friendly. IT will have a problem should a user lose his password or if the HIVE on VISTA gets corrupt, access to the drive will not be possible even in another machine. IT may not be able to use current ERD tools to fix VISTA machines.</p>

        <p>If you do use VISTA, please post here if you can. </p>