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Looking to get a jump on sales of Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 7
operating system, Best Buy is planning a host of pre-release specials
and incentives for retail customers.

In an internal memo to Best Buy employees posted on the Website engadget.com,
Best Buy’s management details a multifaceted presales plan that will be
rolled out starting June 26, well before the expected mid-October ship
date for Windows 7.

Most interesting, however, is that the memo effectively declares
Microsoft’s Vista operating system, which Windows 7 is slated to
replace, a failure – or at least not a very efficient platform.

“This new operating system isn’t just a “Vista that works” program –
it’s a new operating system with improved productivity, functionality
and creativity that uses less computer resources,” the memo reads. “In
simpler terms, this means less waiting, fewer clicks and less
complexity for end users.”

The presales blitz includes the following activities:

•    A Technology Guarantee program that ensures
customers a free version of Windows 7 with a PC purchase made between
June 26 and the Windows 7 launch date this fall. Additionally,
computers running Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate qualify for
this upgrade.
•    Individual purchases of Microsoft Vista Home
Premium, Business or Ultimate also qualify for the Technology Guarantee.
•    A presale of select versions of Windows 7, starting
June 26, on Bestbuy.com, including Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade for
$49.99 and Windows 7 Professional Upgrade for $99.99. This promotion
runs until July 11. The software will be shipped to customers when
Windows 7 is officially released in the fall.

The Best Buy memo also notes that other retailers will be offering
presales activities around Windows 7, but touts its Geek Squad services
as a differentiator and value add.

Solution providers that do not take title to the software that they
install, implement and customize for customers could direct their
customers to source Windows 7 now during the presales incentives period
this summer.