updated 03:10 pm EDT, Thu October 26, 2006
Vista upgrades, confusion
Microsoft's recently announced plan to offer Vista upgrade coupons as a means of shoring up computer sales during the holiday is "another Microsoft stumble," according to one report. ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley criticizes the coupon system -- which offers different upgrade paths from Windows XP systems purchased between October and March, depending on the XP edition -- for allowing widely varying discounts that may only serve to confuse buyers. Kingsley condemns the frequent ineligibility and contrasting prices for the upgrades, with many entry-level PCs being excluded entirely from free upgrades by system builders while owners of other systems face significant expenses, according to Electronista.
Dell customers, for instance, must pay $45 for an upgrade from XP Home to Vista Home Basic, while HP and Gateway offer the same upgrade for free. Other manufacturers are allowed to charge unspecified fees that are likely to cause hesitation in buyers, who may be caught off-guard by hidden costs. "Microsoft has taken what should be relatively easy and made it far too complicated by handing too much control over to the PC vendors."