I've seen a number of what appear to be controlled leaks popping up here and there to incite bloggers to precipitate the "rumor" that Microsoft and OEMs have worked out a deal to provide a Vista upgrade coupon to buyers of new PCs this holiday season spreads. My two cents? It's a terrific idea.
Of course I'd say that. I wrote a post here months ago when the "slip sliding away" began anew and suggested this. So did a lot of other people. I make no claim that this was a unique or innovative notion - it's been done before and it invariably accomplishes one thing. It removes a barrier to an intended purchase that can be easily delayed. What it decidedly will not do is spur anyone who wasn't already pretty serious about buying a new PC to suddenly feel as though they should run right out and do so just because they will get a free upgrade to Vista sometime next year.
Most folks - the great masses of people who in aggregate make a difference to big companies like Microsoft and Wal-Mart and Best Buy - are not waiting with bated breath to get their hands on Vista. They either don't know about it, don't care about it, or are content to wait for it. Which goes to show that the general public, maligned though they may often be by techies, has their collective heads screwed on pretty straight (at least as far as new versions of long-delayed and far overdue operating system upgrades go).
Yup... good idea not to antagonize prospective Q4 PC purchasers by making them agonize over whether to buy now or wait. Silly notion to expect it to create any additional demand. Not going to happen.