reprinted from a HP press release:

HP Gives Consumers Free, Simple Upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 13, 2006Starting today, HP customers can register qualifying consumer PCs for a free Microsoft Windows Vista operating system upgrade with the confidence that HP has created a unique support experience to help them with the installation process. By requesting an upgrade at www.hp.com/go/windowsvistaupgrade, the majority of customers will receive a kit with a Windows Vista upgrade DVD and an additional DVD(1) with drivers needed to complete the process. The HP DVD offers a simple, step-by-step guide that helps ensure customers follow the correct procedure when upgrading their PCs. From validating the necessary physical components to backing up files, HP helps customers protect their data and makes upgrading easy. In addition to the driver disk, HP will have drivers available via the HP Support website for customers to download. HP plans to update the Windows Vista drivers page as additional drivers become available so customers can have access to the most current versions. "HP began working with Microsoft in 2001, devoting thousands of hours of hardware and software testing and development to ensure consumers experience an affordable, easy-to-follow upgrade path to the new Windows Vista operating system, said Mark Sanchez, vice president, Consumer Computing North America, HP.

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HP works to ensure a smooth transition to Vista across its broad product lineup

HP has worked closely with Microsoft to help ensure that HP imaging and printing products work smoothly with Windows Vista. More than 450 consumer, small business, and enterprise HP imaging and printing products, including HP LaserJet and inkjet printers, cameras and scanners, are Windows Vista Ready. HP also has worked with Microsoft to qualify Windows Vista compatible drivers and other key software. By incorporating drivers and other key HP software into the installation process, HP addressed one of the primary reasons customers request tech support when upgrading operating systems. When used in conjunction with Windows Vista, HP Update will download relevant software as well as technical support content such as user guides and troubleshooting tips right on the PC. HP Update is a tool that 8 million customers currently use to automatically update software to avoid issues with out-of-date drivers or firmware. HP also is prepared to help address common issues customers face in their transition to Windows Vista in real time through self-paced classes. When customers call HP for help, they may be offered an impromptu class on that issue at no charge. The class would be followed by a live question and answer session with a tech support agent. HP has successfully used these classes in the past to respond to virus outbreaks. For customers in need of individual support, HP began extensive training sessions with its tech support agents in November. The training gives agents hands-on experience with Vista and the potential questions customers may raise. Agents may use HP Instant Care to connect to customers PCs over the Internet and provide personalized advice and assistance while customers watch and learn. These services are part of HP Total Care, the service and support program that backs HPs consumer products. HP Total Care delivers 24×7 service, advice, learning and support in and out of warranty. It was recognized by J.D. Power and Associates for consistently providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience.(2)

Eligibility

Customers who have purchased a new HP Pavilion, Compaq Presario or HP Digital Entertainment Center PC designated "Microsoft Windows Vista Capable(3, 4) between Oct. 26, 2006, and March 15, 2007, direct from HP or select retailers are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows Vista when it becomes available in early 2007. Customers may request an upgrade to the version of Windows Vista equivalent to the systems existing, qualifying version of Windows XP. Customers can now visit www.hp.com/go/windowsvistaupgrade for complete instructions on how to take advantage of this upgrade offer. All upgrade requests must be placed no later than March 31, 2007, and require proof of purchase. Shipping and handling may be required, per certain retailer restrictions. The services above are designed for North American consumer products and will be available when Vista is released. 1) Certain models will have driver support via the web only. (2) J.D. Power and Associates Certified Technology Service and Support ProgramSM, developed in conjunction with the Service & Support Professionals Association. For more information, visit www.jdpower.com or www.thesspa.com. (3) Not all Windows Vista features are available for use on all Windows Vista Capable PCs. All Windows Vista Capable PCs will run the core experiences of Windows Vista, such as innovations in organizing and finding information, security and reliability. Some features available in premium editions of Windows Vista such as the new Windows Aero user interface require advanced or additional hardware. Check www.windowsvista.com/getready for details. (4) Upgrading a Windows Vista Capable Media Center Edition PC that does not display the Window Vista Premium Ready designation may require additional hardware to run premium features offered with some Windows Vista versions. However, all Windows Vista Capable PCs can run the core functionalities of Windows Vista, when properly installed. Please visit www.windowsvista.com/getready for more details.

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