Windows Vista Anytime Upgrades and Family Discounts

Microsoft announced today that they will be adding three new ways to for customers who want to buy, upgrade or license multiple copies of Windows Vista. Windows Anytime upgrade will allow them upgrade their copy of Vista, anytime and anywhere by simply clicking on the option in the start menu, pick the edition you want, and pay for it, of course, you get your key and follow the instructions. Some downloading will definitely have to happen, so probably shouldn’t try it on dialup.

They will make Windows Vista and Office 2007 available for purchase and download in the Windows Marketplace, and here is the kicker, you will be able to get a Family discount when purchasing for multiple pc’s, in fact, it will only be $49.99 for each additional copy. It says on the website that you will have to enter one valid full or upgrade Windows Vista Ultimate key from their retail boxed product, so it looks like you will have to purchase a couple and then get the discount. They linked to a site for more info, but it redirects to the Windows Vista page without any info on the Family discount.

Microsoft Corp. today detailed three new methods for customers looking to buy, upgrade or license multiple copies of Windows Vista, the new operating system that will be available worldwide on Jan. 30. Windows Anytime Upgrade, Windows Vista Family Discount and Windows Marketplace will provide customers with greater flexibility in obtaining the new operating system and will ensure they have the edition of Windows Vista that matches their needs.

?With the consumer launch of Windows Vista so close, we?re excited to announce three new ways to make the purchase and upgrade experience easier than ever,? said Brad Brooks, general manager of Windows Client Marketing at Microsoft. ?These new programs give our customers more flexibility and choice to ensure they get the edition that?s right for them.? Source: Microsoft Unveils New Ways for Consumers to Get Windows Vista

The Windows Vista Team blog has more info, it says that they created the family discount because people complained that it was to inconvenient to upgrade every node on their network. And it looks like you will have to order one copy of Windows Vista Ultimate for every two copies Windows Vista Home Premium you want, unless I am misreading it.

On the Family discount:
Buy a retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate (full or upgrade version)
Between 30 January ? 30 June, order up to two copies of Windows Vista Home Premium online
Pay only $49.99 for each copy of Windows Vista Home Premium
Valid in North America (US and Canada)

And on the Anytime Upgrade:
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) to upgrade from a more basic version of Windows Vista are:

Home Basic –> Home Premium: $79
Home Basic –> Ultimate: $199
Home Premium –> Ultimate: $159
Business –> Ultimate: $139
Source: Multiple announcements today

The Wall Street Journal had a review of Windows Vista today, he said it was the best version of Windows ever, but said it was largely unexciting because you pretty much use it the same as you do Windows XP.

After months of testing Vista on multiple computers, new and old, I believe it is the best version of Windows that Microsoft has produced. However, while navigation has been improved, Vista isn’t a breakthrough in ease of use. Overall, it works pretty much the same way as Windows XP. Windows hasn’t been given nearly as radical an overhaul as Microsoft just applied to its other big product, Office.

There are some big downsides to this new version of Windows. To get the full benefits of Vista, especially the new look and user interface, which is called Aero, you will need a hefty new computer, or a hefty one that you purchased fairly recently. The vast majority of existing Windows PCs won’t be able to use all of Vista’s features without major hardware upgrades. They will be able to run only a stripped-down version, and even then may run very slowly. Source: Vista: Worthy, Largely Unexciting XP Successor Doesn’t Break New Ground on Ease of Use, But It’s Best Windows Yet.

He has posted a video review here.