Microsoft is increasing the ways that users can purchase Windows Vista, and upgrade to premium versions.
Upgrade Pricing, Discount Promotions
Tomorrow, the company is expected to announce pricing for a previously revealed consumer upgrade system for Vista called Windows Anytime Upgrade. Microsoft has said it will put all of the versions of Vista on one DVD in packaged form, or on a PC if the OS comes pre-installed. Users will get a product activation key that can activate whatever edition of Vista they purchase, and then can use that to install the OS.
However, if a user decides he or she wants to upgrade to a more feature-rich version of Vista than the one originally purchased–such as from Home Basic to Home Premium–Microsoft will allow a customer to pay $79 for a product activation key for that upgrade rather than requiring that customer to go out and purchase the edition at full price, which for Home Premium would be $159.
Thursday will also see Microsoft unveil a promotion through June 30 intended to inspire computer enthusiasts with more than one PC in the home to upgrade more than one computer to Vista.
Dubbed the Windows Vista Family Discount, it will allow a customer who buys the retail boxed version of Ultimate to purchase digital licenses for Home Premium for $49 each that can be installed on up to two other PCs in the home. As I’ve explained in the past, the suggested retail price for Windows Home Premium is $159.
Vista, Office to be Available as Downloads
Microsoft will also announce tomorrow that, for the first time, users will be able to purchase its Windows OS by downloading it over the Internet.
On Jan 30, various consumer versions of Windows Vista–such as Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate–will be available at the company’s Windows Marketplace. Microsoft Office 2007 will also be available on the site, marking the first time customers can purchase the productivity suite by downloading it.
The company revamped the site in August, adding a new feature called Digital Locker, which keeps track of a customer’s license key online so that software can be downloaded and securely purchased over the Internet. This feature is one of the reasons Microsoft now feels it is safe enough to distribute Windows Vista and Office over the Web.