In a first for the company, Microsoft will make complete versions of its latest Vista operating system available for download. From 30th January, when Vista goes on sale to consumers, it will also be available online at the Windows Marketplace.
Windows Marketplace promises to make it fast and easy to download large software programmes through its digital locker technology, which combines the immediacy of downloaded software with the security features of owning physical media like a DVD. It uses security technology to store purchased software and license keys, efficiently resumes downloads if they are interrupted, and manages the overall installation process.
Complete English-version 32- and 64-bit Vista editions will be available, as well as the ability to download version upgrades. In this way, users could start with a basic version of Vista and then upgrade via the Net if they want more functionality.
Microsoft will also make Office 2007 available for download.
To use Windows Anytime Upgrade, a customer simply clicks on the Windows Anytime Upgrade option in the Start menu, selects the desired upgrade edition, purchases it online to secure a new digital key, and then follows the on-screen instructions to complete the upgrade.