Microsoft is running a promotion to entice Xbox Live Silver members to upgrade to Xbox Live Gold. The promotional price is $39.99 for a year. Kotaku has reported a Microsoft rep as saying:
The timing of the promotion is fascinating. It could be a temporary measure to boost revenue during a traditionally slow period for gaming. It could be an experiment to see how many people are willing to jump to Gold at this particular price point; if Microsoft believes this is a "money" price point then it might choose to make the change permanent. Then there are retailers to consider -- Amazon.com often has sales that offer Xbox Live Gold for as low as $37 a year.
As Sony's PlayStation Network continues to mature, it's getting more difficult for Microsoft to justify $50 a year for Xbox Live Gold. While PSN isn't (yet) as polished or robust as Xbox Live Gold, it's free.
What do you think this "promotion" means? Is it a temporary sale? Is it a sign that Microsoft is considering a permanent price cut? If you own both a PlayStation 3 and an Xbox 360, do you still feel Xbox Live Gold provides a service worth paying for?