Windows Vista WrapUp

Lots of information and posts today concerning Windows Vista, so I think I will try to touch base on all the ones I am interested in, in this post, instead of making a post for each.

The first one I saw today was Hidden Costs of Vista Upgrade Coupon from the PC World blog. In it he touches on what it will really cost you to use the Windows Vista coupon that will be available from retailers, and he’s not just talking about price either.

First, looking at the various prices of the four different editions of Vista that will be available at retail gives me a headache. (An Enterprise version will be available only under volume license.) PC World did a complete breakdown in September, with a comparison to Windows XP pricing.

How much you’ll have to pay for an upgrade ultimately will depend on where you buy your PC. As reported today by The Wall Street Journal Online, major OEM’s will offer different pricing structures. For example, Hewlett-Packard will allow you to buy certain models and upgrade for free. Depending on the HP retailer, however, you may have to pay shipping and handling fees.

If you use this coupon program, you are committing yourself to personally upgrading your own PC. Are you up to the task? Are you ready to fork over some extra dough if necessary? And are you ready to spend the time the upgrade process will take?

Ultimately, he recommends waiting until Vista shows up on a machine you buy, to save yourself the headaches of upgrading to Windows Vista, and the potential data loss that can occur. As with most operating system upgrades, you should wipe the drive and install a clean copy, so you don’t end up with all of the baggage from the previous installation, so unless you plan on upgrading your current copy, you will have a lot more time in it than you would like. But, if you are experiencing some problems anyway, spyware, popups, sluggish machine, you should probably re-install anyway, so, may as well do it with Vista, if your machine can handle it.

The second article I read was What you need to know about Vista upgrades from PC Magazine, via Yahoo. It lists your upgrade options and what it will cost you when you buy from various manufacturers. Here are some small quotes, more info is available in the article.

Acer: Any Acer Windows Vista Capable or Windows Vista Premium Ready PC bought between October 26, 2006 and March 15, 2007 includes an Express Upgrade to Windows Vista option, automatically. Redemption must be completed by March 31. Users can check to see if their PC qualifies under the offer by clicking here.

Dell: Spokesman Bob Kaufman told eWEEK that while the company plans to charge $45 plus shipping and handling to move from Windows XP Home to Vista Basic, the upgrade from Windows XP Media Center Edition to Vista Premium and from Windows XP Pro to Vista Premium will only incur a shipping and handling fee.

Gateway: A Gateway spokesperson reported that all eMachines and Gateway PCs were eligible for a free upgrade to Windows Vista, starting Oct. 26.

HP: North American consumers who buy a new HP Pavilion or Compaq Presario desktop or notebook PC, or HP Digital Entertainment Center, with a qualifying Windows XP operating system that is designated “Windows Vista Capable” between Oct. 26, 2006 and March 15, 2007 will be eligible for a free upgrade to Vista. Customers should visit HP’s web site to request their upgrade. Proof of purchase will be required.

Lenovo: Lenovo’s Express Upgrade to Windows Vista Program will allow customers who purchase a Lenovo Vista Capable or Vista Premium Ready PC between October 26, 2006 and March 15, 2007 to receive a license and copy of the Windows Vista operating system when Microsoft places it on the market in early 2007. (The PC must carry the “Vista Ready” logo above, and consumers should be ready to supply a proof of purchase.) Customers must redeem the offer by March 30, 2007.

Toshiba: To qualify for the program, users need to have purchased a notebook PC pre-installed with “qualifying” Microsoft Windows XP software between October 26, 2006 and March 15, 2007. While Toshiba has made a Web site available to facilitate the Windows Vista upgrade transition, it was not working as of Oct. 26. What or if Toshiba will charge for an upgrade, or what format it will arrive in, was not known at press time.

And lastly, on an article on bit-tech.net titled Microsoft clarifies Vista activation to bit-tech hacks, Microsoft is trying to reassure people about the licensing terms of Windows Vista.

A Microsoft spokesman from the Licensing Dept told bit-tech that this would not be the case. He told us that Windows Vista will not require a system re-activation unless the hard drive and one other component is changed. This means that enthusiasts will be able to swap CPUs, memory and graphics cards out without any worry about having to re-activate with MS, either on the internet or by phone.

Should you change the hard drive and another piece of hardware – for example for a major upgrade such as a motherboard change that requires a re-installation – Microsoft will allow you to re-activate up to 10 times. You will not, however, be able to have more than one machine activated concurrently.

That sounds a lot better than what was previously thought, but I am sure if some of this becomes a case by case basis, you may have problems as people interpret things differently.

The Windows Vista Team blog was updated, and looks a lot better, Jim Allchin made the announcement himself, saying,

One of the exciting new features we?re inaugurating today is the ability to deliver new kinds of content to you. The blog can now support cool multimedia content, including better image handling and video clips. The team will film short videos around our hallways and then make them available. I hope this helps the community connect with the experience of living and breathing the development process of Windows Vista. Source: Windows Vista Team Blog.