Vista, Office 2007 to be downloadable legally

Downloading new versions of Windows or Office shortly after their release—or even before—might be a common practice among software pirates, but more law-abiding users are generally forced to drive down to the store to get their copies. That’s going to change with Windows Vista and Office 2007, though. Microsoft has announced that it will make retail versions of the two software packages available for download from its Windows Marketplace website on January 30, the same day as the official retail launch.

Users will be able to purchase and download Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, and Vista Ultimate in either 64-bit or 32-bit versions, albeit in English only. Available versions of Office will include Office Home and Student 2007, Office Standard 2007, and Office Professional 2007. All downloadable packages will cost the same as their retail counterparts.

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    • VTOL
    • 13 years ago

    Hey why don’t they use bitorrent to distribute it and lower their bandwidth cost! /genius

    • albundy
    • 13 years ago

    “Vista, Office 2007 to be downloadable legally”

    unless someone mistakenly puts it in their p2p shared folder. hehe LOL!

    • Forge
    • 13 years ago

    So now you can buy your OS via Steam as well?

    • kvndoom
    • 13 years ago

    OEM! OEM! OEM!

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Finally… get rid of the silly middleman.

    This has been a long time comingg{.}g

      • Vrock
      • 13 years ago

      Well, what’s the advantage of no middle man here? Cetainly isn’t lower price…

        • indeego
        • 13 years ago

        Eventually it will be. Here are other advantages (I’m not referring to MS specifically):
        – Less packaging is less wasteful.
        – Less packaging = more revenue where it should be going (developing/shareholders/Research)
        – Quicker releases without having to rely on an outdated distribution channel (which artificially raises costs for everyone.)
        – Gets in line with most other software distribution (almost all of our software is downloaded and licensed online now, why can’t the OS be this way as well?)
        – Allows for easy software dispersement. With a license agreement I can get my Software in Tallahasee or Oregon easily, at 4 a.m., if need be.
        – Time. I have Fiber at work. I can download an OS far faster than get to a brick and mortar store in my satellite offices. I don’t have to deal with pimply sales geeks opening display cases or bums haggling me for a quarterg{<...<}g 🙂

          • Madman
          • 13 years ago

          Just don’t scream when you’ll have to pay every month for your beloved Vista use, and HDDVD’s and so on…

            • indeego
            • 13 years ago

            I could care less how much Vista costs. I never pay for it for home use (I don’t use it at home anymore, and never will unless someone wants to buy it for me. Even then it wouldn’t be my primary OS…Linux based would.)

            I see Microsoft OS’s only as a business OS now. (and I think it’s better than Linux in the business world also, fancy THAT for calling me a fanboi.) Consumers should avoid. If you want to play games, get a consoleg{<.<}g

            • Anomymous Gerbil
            • 13 years ago

            Err.. except for the huge proportion of people who could never install and use Linux, and except for all the games that only run on PCs, and except for all the Windows-only software that people want to use, etc… apart from those and other reasons, Windows is only a business OS :-p

            • wierdo
            • 13 years ago

            “Damn, I keep forgetting that objects not in my line of sight still exist!”

            For some reason I remembered that quote when reading this 😛

            • Anomymous Gerbil
            • 13 years ago

            You’ve lost me?

            • d2brothe
            • 13 years ago

            R U serious….do you have any clue…more money = microsofts pockets, more rapid releases, its been what, 6 years since XP? And Linux…*shakes head*….my dad can barely surf the web, he’s going to install linux…of the big three, linux is the worst desktop OS. in terms of usability and such, it is the worst. Businesses will be the last to pickup vista, its the biggest investment for them, and they gain the least. And common, gaming on consoles…I literally dissagree with everything you say. I’m sorry, I don’t see how this is a good thing. I want my box!!

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 13 years ago

    As long as one can download the ISO’s as I currently do via MSDN, I’m all for it.

    • sluggo
    • 13 years ago

    This kind of a slap in the face of their e-tail distributors. I mean, the target market for the e-tailers are people who, for one reason or another, prefer to-the-door service, right? Who does this new scheme serve other than those who would have ordered from Newegg, etc?

    • wierdo
    • 13 years ago

    erm big deal? They’re selling it at the same price, so basically it makes them more profit since they save on packaging and manuals etc… it’s not a great deal imho.

    As for convenience… well maybe for some, who knows.

    • DASQ
    • 13 years ago

    Same cost? Bad idea. I find it hard to believe that people would rather wait 3-4 hours for this to download, rather than drive 15 minutes, or take city transit for 30 minutes to just pick up a physical copy. Useful for those that live in the country… but then they don’t have the best broadband, so they’d have to likely wait for a few days to finish this hefty download.

    It’s like Microsoft saying the packaging and shipping costs absolutely nothing (nothing but increased profit margins!)

    • ludi
    • 13 years ago

    Me not like. Neither the physical media and packaging, nor the download bandwidth, are very expensive from Microsoft’s end since they buy so much of both. Some sort of incentive structure needs to be in place for the downloadable version before I would bite — either offer the chance to receive the physical media later at a nominal media-mail postage charge (+$5?), or else offer a discount for purchasing online only (-$15).

    • alex666
    • 13 years ago

    Like I’m going to spend $150 or more on a download and trust that, if something goes awry, I’ll be able to sort this out over the phone with someone half a world away? No thanks. And this is not intended to be a slam on the MS phone support staff in any way, shape, or form. No, if I’m going to spend that much money on such DRM-heavy software, I’ll go to Best Buy or whomever and get a copy I can hold in my hands. At the very least, it is more concrete evidence that I purchased the OS.

      • Mr Bill
      • 13 years ago

      I’m in agreement with that. Furthermore, I tried doing it this way with WinDVD. Every few months WinDVD decides my system has changed and demands I log on to their site, give my password and reauthorize my copy before it will play. Never again will I download a commercial product that requires activation to run.

    • danny e.
    • 13 years ago

    not for me.

    • nstuff
    • 13 years ago

    Honestly, i’m looking forward to what retail stores do to try to get people to come in and buy Vista. Does anyone remember when Windows ME came out? They had the $50 upgrade from 98se promotion. Staples gave away at least $50 of software when you purchased ME. I walked out of that store with two bags full of software and a couple rebates. I knew ME was bad when i bought but all the free software i got was more than worth it.

    I’m hoping something similar for Vista. Has anyone heard of any retail store promos for Vista yet?

    • Vrock
    • 13 years ago

    Same price, hmm. I’d have thought one or the other would’ve been cheaper. I wonder what MS’s cost of the bandwidth for the download is vs. manufacturing and distributing the physical media…..

      • TheTechReporter
      • 13 years ago

      Think about it this way.
      If you offer a download over the internet, the software team just has to take one of their local copies (ie, on the programmer’s hard drive) and upload it to a website, then pay for the upkeep of the website.
      On the other hand, a _lot_ of people are involved in taking that copy and getting it burned onto a CD that ends up inside a retail box at Wal-mart.
      Trust me, it’s much cheaper for the company to sell software online.

      The consumer does benefit some, too: extra convenience, less time (remember, you can walk away from the download and come back after it’s done), no sales tax (potentially), and no money spent on gas, etc.

      Having said that, online downloads should _always_ offer a discount over retail stores, IMHO.

      • Disco
      • 13 years ago

      The same price irks me too. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t make it cheaper as incentive to purchase.

      I have the same issue with Steam. It was assumed before Steam became popular that there would be a discounted price for games because of cutting out the middleman and no need to supply physical media. But unfortunately this is not the case. In fact, older halflife games are still at much prices on steam than you can get them for in the bargain bin. I don’t have many issues with Steam itself, but I think the pricing should be better to get me to buy stuff on it.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 13 years ago

    The only thing I want from this:
    – Register and enter CC information
    – Download a self extracting EXE that builds an ISO
    – Email address is mailed a key

    As a bonus, it would be very nice to buy more keys without physical medium.

      • lemonhead
      • 13 years ago

      You can already buy extra keys/licenses for XP on MS website

    • Shintai
    • 13 years ago

    Sweet! Tho I already have the MSDN version. But digital downloads ftw! Games, movies etc.

    • moose17145
    • 13 years ago

    So here’s my question. Lets say you decide to use the 32 bit version at first for some random reason (celeron that doesn’t support 64 bit or something lets say), then you upgrade your cpu to a C2D and want to also upgrade to 64 bits, does that mean you also have to pay M$ again just to get the 64 bit version?

      • Corrado
      • 13 years ago

      I believe its always been this way. If you had XP Home cuz you didnt need to join a domain or use more than 1 physical CPU and all of a sudden you needed a feature of another version, you had to re-buy it. Wether this means there is a difference in 32 and 64bit i dunno though.

      • Ryszard
      • 13 years ago

      The same key works for both ISAs (as far as I’m aware).

        • BiffStroganoffsky
        • 13 years ago

        No, the keys are not the same. If you want to ‘upgrade’ to 64-bit, you’ll probably have to pay for the media (unless you download) and a new key if you own anything less than a Premium…at least that is what I suspect. You forfeit your 32-bit key and it is ‘deactivated’. For the corporate client, there is no premium for switching since the cost is pretty much built in. They waffle if you only have the ‘standard’ license instead of the enterprise but the policy is they will swap if you call them on it.

          • Forge
          • 13 years ago

          Is that pure supposition on your part? All the printed material from MS says otherwise, as does the behavior of the betas/RC/RTM.

          With one RTM key, I can install and activate either the 32 or 64 version.

            • moose17145
            • 13 years ago

            that too is what i noticed, i could activate basically any Vista version with my one key (i signed up for their beta testing thingy), and i could activate Beta 2, RC1, RC2, and either 64 or 32. I can understand though why they would allow this as you are signing up for basically all beta versions, and they full well knew they would be releasing multiple version that their testers were going to be upgrading to the newer releases and your key would need to activate all of them. But obviously we are not releasing a RC version, we are dealing with the real deal, and i would almost suspect the rules to change here. Personally idk why they would care, it’s the same thing, just one is 64 and the other 32, but i guess that is MY logic, not M$’s, hence the reason for the question.

            Maybe they will include both 32 and 64 bit versions in one box or will allow you to download both?

            • SGT Lindy
            • 13 years ago

            I have the RTM version of Vista. All versions of Vista in both 32 bit and 64 bit are on one DVD.

            Your key unlocks the version you purchased during install….so if you bought a Home Priemium then you key will only allow that version to be installed from the DVD.

            You are prompted by the install to install either the 32bit or 64bit during install (after the key)…….if 64bit hardware is detected.

            Later on if you wanted to upgrade from say premium to ultimate….you get a new key and use the same media. You only have to pay the difference.

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