How Free Is A "Free" Vista Upgrade?

If you're in the market for a new PC right now, but are looking forward to that Vista upgrade, you might be interested in Microsoft's Express Upgrade to Vista offer. From October 26 to March 15 of next year, you can receive a coupon from participating dealers, which will allow you to upgrade from XP to Vista once it's available. However, "free" doesn't always mean what we'd normally consider free to be, as hidden fees can tend to be a problem.

"Second, once you've done the homework on which version you want (and talked to your PC vendor to ensure that an upgrade to the version you want will be available and how much it may cost), there's a further issue that nobody is really talking about. Upgrading an operating system is not a trivial process. 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?"
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