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Microsoft Launches Laptop Rebate Program for System Builders

Microsoft on Wednesday announced a new laptop rebate program to encourage system builders in the Microsoft Partner Program to focus on mobile systems.

The program, called the Mobile Built-To-Order rebate program, offers system builders a rebate from Microsoft for each mobile computer shell and copy of Windows XP Professional Edition they buy. The program runs through June 30 in the United States and will be available elsewhere later.

Kurt Kolb, Microsoft vice president, Worldwide System Builder and Genuine Software Initiative, described the rebate program as part of an effort to help system builders capitalize on the notebook trend. The program fits into an existing Microsoft campaign called “Build Notebooks. Go Beyond.”

Meanwhile, Kolb provided an update on the Buy Local campaign, designed to steer customers to U.S. system builders. Since October, Kolb said, nearly 1 million customers visited the Buy Local site, thousands of system builder downloaded materials and more than 160,000 customers used the site’s locator tool to find a local system builder.

Microsoft plans to expand the Buy Local campaign to 11 additional countries later this year.

In encouraging partners to build laptops, Microsoft is not just following the shift in consumer tastes from PCs to portables. The company has explained to its investors that increasing laptop shipments is in the company’s strategic interest.

According to Microsoft’s 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last summer, “We estimate that increasing shipments of laptops as a percentage of total PC systems will continue to positively influence Client revenue growth due to shorter replacement cycles for laptops.”

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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