Microsoft has eased the pain of upgrading to Windows 8 by cutting the price to just $39.99, a deal good through the end of January 2013.
Less expected was Microsoft's decision to bar Vista users from acquiring Office 2013. Although the five-year-old edition was never popular -- it peaked at a 19.1% share in October 2009 by Net Applications' tracking -- it still represents about 7% of all currently in-use copies of Windows and will account for around 5% come February 2013.
Krans had an explanation for Vista's absence from the Office 2013 list as well, saying that it was a sign that Microsoft recognized what users have known for years: The 2007 edition was a washout.
For those reasons -- XP users needing to upgrade or buy new PCs soon, and Vista's irrelevance -- Krans downplayed the potential financial hit to Microsoft of its decision to block XP and Vista from running the new Office.
What's also notable about Windows XP's inability to run Office 2013 is that it ends the operating system's long run of supported suites. The aged operating system was able to handle four different editions: Office XP, which shipped in March 2001, Office 2003 (October 2003), Office 2007 (January 2007) and even Office 2010 (June 2010).
By comparison, the perception-plagued Vista only supported two editions -- Office 2007 and Office 2010 -- another demonstration of its short shelf life.
And it's not as if Microsoft hasn't put the kibosh on XP and Vista before.
March 2011's Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) was refused to XP users, a decision Microsoft made the year before and stuck to even in the face of critics who howled that they'd been left behind.
Vista, meanwhile, will not run the upcoming IE10 that Microsoft plans to ship with Windows 8 and also release for Windows 7, later this year.
The ban on an Office 2013-Windows XP combination can also be read as another way for Microsoft to condemn the OS to the ash bin of history. For over a year now, Microsoft has said it was "time to move on" from Windows XP as it's dubbed it the "lowest common denominator" and kicked off a retirement countdown for the software.
Users running Windows 7 or the Windows 8 Release Preview can try Office 2013 through one of the Office 365 Customer Previews, available from Microsoft's website.
Windows XP and Vista users, of course, need not apply.