Brief: Vista Coupons Reportedly Set For October

The coupons would be used to help jump-start the holiday season and drive Vista sales by enticing customers who buy XP machines in the fourth quarter to upgrade to Vista.
Microsoft Corp. is reportedly ready to start offering in October coupons that consumers can use to upgrade Windows XP computers bought in the fourth quarter to Windows Vista.

Microsoft officials have said before that the company would offer coupons or take other promotional steps to keep people buying PCs during the crucial holiday season. The Redmond, Wash., software maker had planned to ship Vista to consumers in the fourth quarter, but delayed the release until January.

DigiTimes reports that Microsoft reached an agreement in July with PC makers to start offering upgrade coupons in October. Ray Chen, president and chief executive of Compal Electronics, confirmed the plans at a Wednesday investor conference, according to the Taiwan tech site.

Microsoft on Friday denied any agreement had been reached with PC makers.

"We are talking with all of our partners about plans for an offer, but those discussions are ongoing and we have nothing more to share at this time," a spokesperson said in an emailed comment.

Whether its coupons or something else, it's certain Microsoft and PC makers will offer some type of incentive to get consumers to buy computers in the fourth quarter. Without something to lure buyers, it's likely PC sales would take a hit during the holiday season, since many consumers would likely delay purchases until after Vista is available.

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