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.