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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Expect rock-bottom prices for desktop computers, laptops, monitors and printers this holiday season. You can send your thank you notes to Microsoft. Stacey Vanek-Smith reports

STACEY VANEK-SMITH: For computer vendors this year, Microsoft is the Grinch who stole Christmas.

The software giant's new operating system called Vista was supposed to be released in October, but after myriad problems, Vista now won't hit store shelves until the end of January.

Tim Bajairin is with tech consulting firm, Creative Strategies.

TIM BAJAIRIN: Every vendor had huge promotions around Vista. They've been concerned, of course, about demand since a lot of customers would potentially wait until Vista comes out before buying PCs.

Bajairin says in addition to price cuts, many retailers will offer coupons for free Vista upgrades when the system comes out. But for the time being, Bajairin says PC prices should make shoppers very merry indeed.

BAJAIRIN: You'll get some really good packages for under $500 which includes computers, printers and monitors.

But Bajairin predicts PC vendors will have a happy New Year. Vista's release in January is expected to boost sales and profits in 2007.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

Follow Stacey Vanek Smith at @svaneksmith