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CompUSA is offering consumers and small businesses a free evaluation to prepare them for the Jan. 30 launch of Microsoft’s Windows Vista.

The free evaluation is available at all 229 CompUSA stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and is designed to answer computer readiness questions.

“This is one of the most exciting software releases in the marketplace since the Windows XP launch in 2001,” said Brian Woods, executive vice president of merchandising for CompUSA, in a statement.

“With more than 20 years of providing technology services, our customers have come to depend on us to guide them through the latest software upgrades and changes.”

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Consumers and small businesses will receive a Vista evaluation for their current computer from a CompUSA TechPro technician. CompUSA TechPro has a national qualified force of more than 10,000 experienced workers to aid consumers and small businesses in the Windows Vista upgrade process.

Customers can bring their computers or computer specifications to the CompUSA TechPro Service Center located within all CompUSA stores for the evaluation, which will inform them of the hardware additions they need to run Windows Vista.

The CompUSA Vista check up takes approximately five minutes and no appointments are necessary. Customers can also go online for the free check up.

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CompUSA began selling Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007 alongside resellers and OEM partners on Nov. 30. Microsoft officials said they allowed CompUSA to sell Vista at the retail level months ahead of the general public release as part of an effort to make volume buying more obtainable for SMBs and home office customers.

“For many, changing operating systems is like voyaging into the unknown and customers can depend on and trust CompUSA’s tremendous technical expertise to provide a smooth and successful upgrade,” said Woods.