I never really thought about this, but why would Microsoft not allow their new OS to be downloaded? It makes sense from a business perspective when you consider that manufacturing and delivery costs would be eliminated.
As of January 30 anyone can purchase the software online and download it along with an installation key – all from the Windows Marketplace. From an ease of use standpoint, they should get more sales from just the lazy people. This same service will also allow downloads of Office 2007.
Of course if you buy an OEM version that supports Windows Anytime Upgrade (WAU), then you already have the software on your PC, all you need to do is get a key to unlock it. The Microsoft recommended pricing scheme is as follows:
- Home Basic to Home Premium $79
- Home Basic to Ultimate $199
- Home Premium to Ultimate $159
- Business to Ultimate $139.
Microsoft is also including a little bonus via their “family plan.” If you purchase Windows Vista Ultimate, you can license two additional computers for only $49.99 each. With the retail version going for $399.99, that is a pretty good discount.