SEATTLE — Microsoft is considering discounts or other promotions during the holidays to entice consumers to upgrade their PCs with Windows Vista, even though the new operating system isn't due to hit store shelves until January at the earliest.
Any end-of-the-year effort to spur PC purchases would likely please many retailers and computer manufacturers, who fear disappointing sales during the crucial holiday as consumers wait for the highly anticipated and long-delayed software.
Kevin Kutz, a director in Microsoft's Windows Client Group, confirmed Tuesday that the company is in talks with PC makers and retailers about a range of possible holiday promotions. But he declined to offer other details, such as whether they would apply only to new purchases.
Vista will be the first major upgrade to Microsoft's flagship operating system since Windows XP was released in 2001. After a series of delays, Microsoft said it appears to be on track to ship the business version of Vista in November and to consumers in January.