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Microsoft Launches Online Store


Microsoft Launches Online Store

That Microsoft has taken until 2008 to launch a proper online store to flog its wares on seems pretty remarkable. Nonetheless, the imaginatively named Microsoft Store is only just arrived to fill that dedicated direct-to-buyer gap that has so clearly been stinting Microsoft's growth up to this point.

As ever we in the UK get pretty well shafted compared to our US counterparts. Across the Atlantic Microsoft products everything from the Arc Mouse, though Vista, to Xbox games is available for purchase. Over here, though, we're limited to select software only. Although I'm sure someone out there will be thrilled to know they can now buy Windows Vista and Microsoft Expression Studio 2 direct from the developer.

Interestingly UK customers are also limited in the delivery method for purchased content. US buyers can opt for shipping of a physical disc with software on it, but we Brits are restricted to digital download only. Not that I'm complaining particularly, this being the 21st Century after all. Pricing isn't exactly hot on the Microsoft Store, either. Although it can hardly be called surprising that a manufacturer would stick to its own MSRPs.

Maybe if Microsoft does the decent thing and offers the rest of the world as much choice as the US the Microsoft Store will become interesting to us. For now, though, chalk this up as an also ran and move on.


Microsoft Store UK.


November 17, 2008, 6:15 pm

Those prices make the baby Jesus cry.


November 17, 2008, 6:32 pm

the biggest kick in the shins is the price of vista ultimate compared to vista business.

windows anytime upgrade from business to ultimate asks &#16393, whereas between the discs there is only a &#16310 difference. so it should stand to reason anytime upgrade should charge a tenner for an upgrade. shouldn't it?


November 17, 2008, 6:36 pm

&#163170 for an Home OS is way too expensive.. and Microsoft wonder why no-one bothers to upgrade from XP.

A reasonable price (considering the number of PCs worldwide) would be:

Vista Home - &#163 99

Vista Home upgrade - &#163 49

If Vista included Office, then &#163 170 is more reasonable.


November 17, 2008, 6:36 pm

They want &#163230 for Vista Ultimate? *sniggers*

I bought an OEM copy of Vista Ultimate last year for &#163109. Quite a saving... :)


November 17, 2008, 6:49 pm

"windows anytime upgrade from business to ultimate asks &#16393, whereas between the discs there is only a &#16310 difference. so it should stand to reason anytime upgrade should charge a tenner for an upgrade. shouldn't it?"

When I got my new laptop last week, I wanted to upgrade from Business to Ultimate to match my desktop PC. I assumed it would be &#16320-&#16330 and I was staggered to find they wanted &#16393! So instead of &#16320-&#16330 extra from me, they will be getting bugger all.

I hope they get the pricing right with Windows 7. They need to get it right in order to encourage people to upgrade and to make people want to upgrade. Plus all the different versions of Vista was a stupid idea, at least with Windows 7 I believe they are just going to have one or two versions?!


November 17, 2008, 6:57 pm

@ Darfuria: "Those prices make the baby Jesus cry."

The baby Jesus isn't the only one crying.


November 17, 2008, 7:33 pm

You can grab a Vista Premium Upgrade w/ Academic (non-commercial use) licence for around &#16369 or less!


November 17, 2008, 9:04 pm

"I bought an OEM copy of Vista Ultimate last year for &#163109. Quite a saving... :)"

One thing to watch out for when buying OEM, apart from the fact your only meant to install on a new PC, is that the licence is non-transferable, eg. If you later want to build another PC your fooba, saying that you just ring up via phone answer some questions informing them it's the same PC and everything is fine again, and even if were not, the stupid prices M$ charge you could buy another OEM copy. :) I tend to agree here with everyone else, M$ pricing needs sorting.


November 17, 2008, 9:56 pm


I bought it for a new PC that I built. I'm quite wasteful and will probably bin the PC in 3 years time when it's old and knackered & get a new desktop so I'm not fussed that I can't transfer it to a new machine.

By then Windows 7 will be available and Vista will be nothing but a distant memory....


November 17, 2008, 11:12 pm

Those prices are a total rip off. It seems my assumption that they must be boxed copies with all the gubbins is unfounded. Fail, MS, Fail.

That said, the Apple Store is a bit of a ripoff too ;)


November 18, 2008, 2:44 am

All I can say is 'Thank God for Ubuntu"


November 18, 2008, 3:33 am

Don't be fooled into thinking that this week's launch of The Microsoft Store is Microsoft's first foray into selling its products via an online storefront. And please, dear God, don't try to tell me that they're somehow copying Apple, because they aren't. Microsoft has, in fact, been selling its products via the Windows Marketplace for several years now. And the only big difference I can see between that site and the new Microsoft Store is that the latter only sells Microsoft software and hardware, while the former also offers third party products. So why all the hoo-hah over Microsoft's new store? Because most of the people who write blogs and news articles in this industry have no understanding of the topic they're covering. Yeah, I said it. Even Microsoft got it wrong: In a posting to the Windows Experience Blog announcing the store, a Microsoft employee described the new storefront as "the first online store where you can purchase Microsoft products straight from the source." Which is curious, because I purchased Microsoft AutoCollage from the Windows Marketplace about two weeks earlier. And for the record, the Terms of Use page on that site notes that Windows Marketplace is a "service that Microsoft provides."

BTW, I believe that Windows Marketplace launched in 2004. Here&#8217s a story about it. Yes, the article says the site will be &#8220maintained&#8221 by CNET. But all of the legal disclaimers on the site and trademarks point to Microsoft&#8217s ownership, as noted above. You&#8217d think Microsoft, at least, would try to draw some distinction between Windows Marketplace and

And let&#8217s not forget Microsoft&#8217s other online stores like Xbox Marketplace and Zune Marketplace.

Published Nov 14 2008, 10:35 AM by pthurrott

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