More new announcements from the Windows Vista team today!  With the launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007, consumers who live in the United States will be able to go online to purchase and download both pieces of software.  They’re clearly catering to the more tech-savvy crowd with this option, who would prefer it over going to the store to purchase it.  If you’re wanting to do this, you’ll definitely need a great Internet connection, because it will be a large download.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t want to go out and buy a new computer to experience Vista, which is why this option will be a great choice.  This new download process uses a technology called Digital Locker.  Software is securely stored, along with the license keys.  When you begin your download, Digital Locker will know when a download has been interrupted so that it can automatically resume when the connection is restored.

Another update comes for the Windows Anytime Upgrade (available in US, Canada, Europe and Japan).  As we have mentioned before, all versions of Vista will either be on a CD or embedded onto your computer when you make the purchase.  At any point, you can upgrade to a better version.  Here are the upgrade costs:

  • Home Basic to Home Premium — $79
  • Home Basic to Ultimate — $199
  • Home Premium to Ultimate — $159
  • Business to Ultimate — $139

As it stands, regular retail prices are:

  • Home Basic – $199
  • Home Premium – $239
  • Business – $299
  • Ultimate – $399

There’s a nice comparison chart that has been put together to give you a visual of what each version has.  Obviously, the Ultimate edition has all of the bells and whistles which is why it’s the most expensive option.

Finally, the speculated “Family Pack” option will be available to those who have a need to purchase multiple copies.  This will make it more affordable, and potentially provide Microsoft with additional revenue.  You must purchase Windows Vista Ultimate for $399.  After that, you’ll be eligible to purchase two licenses for Vista Home Premium for $49.99 each.  This will be valid in the US and Canada only.

All of these options will make Vista more accessible to consumers; the consumers willing to pay that is. There’s no doubt that $399 may be enough to push someone over to Linux, especially because you can nearly purchase a computer nowadays for the $399 that will be charged for Vista Ultimate. And, unfortunately all of these options have restrictions on availability throughout the world. Regardless, Bill Mannion who is the director of consumer marketing for Windows says that these options are available “to give more flexibility to users.”