Stores pile on freebies with Windows XP

Consumers used to have to buy a computer to get a free Palm device or a digital camera, but the freebie bar has just been lowered with the release of Windows XP. Staples, Circuit City, Office Max and other retailers are offering a cavalcade of freebies for a limited time to customers who buy the home or business edition of Windows XP. In some instances, the value of the goodies outstrips the cost of the software.

These programs, part of Microsoft's multimillion-dollar promotional campaign, highlights the company's urgent need for the new operating system to succeed at retail.

Staples, for instance, will give customers buying Windows XP Home Edition 128MB of memory, three free months of MSN Internet service, a host of software titles and one of the following items: a Palm m100 handheld computer, a CD-RW drive, a digital camera or a cable/DSL router. The upgrade version of Windows XP Home Edition sells for $99; the Palm m100 itself sells for $99.

Circuit City is giving away a joystick, a digital camera, 128MB of memory and speakers with Windows XP Home Edition. All of the programs function like rebates: customers have to buy the freebies and then send in a reimbursement form.

News source: CNET

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