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Vista to be Downloadable (Legally)

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hopefully-in-a-burnable-format dept.

Windows 283

ubermiester writes "InfoWorld reports that Windows Vista will be available for legal download as of January 30th — the same day it will be available in retail stores. MS-NBC Online notes that, 'a relatively low number of computer users are likely to get Vista by downloading it from the Internet, but the mere availability indicates that Microsoft is fiddling with distribution methods for the extremely profitable franchise at the core of its business.' It will be available via the MS Marketplace site in conjunction with a Circuit City offering. Additionally, users who decide to 'upgrade' to a more expensive version of the OS can simply activate the features they want by unlocking them via online activation."

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Wow! (5, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672208)

Next you'll be telling me you can buy car stereos from a shop, in a box and everything!

Re:Wow! (5, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672362)

I wouldn't pay too much attention;

"a relatively low number of computer users are likely to get Vista by downloading it from the Internet"

We know that bit's not true!

Re:Wow! (-1, Redundant)

MindKata (957167) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673600)

"a relatively low number of computer users are likely to get Vista by downloading it from the Internet"

For one thing, how big is it!?! ... if its about 100Mb zip'ed then great! (yes I can dream! ;) ... if its 1Gb+ then the Internet's bandwidth is going to get some interesting testing time ... (and some people's patence should get some good testing time as well ;)

The problem with an Internet download of the OS is, what about a complete re-install?. Its a lot to download again even if the internet connection can be re-installed and re-established somehow.

I'll stick with a disk install. At least that's likely to be a less painful way to install it. (I hope).

Re:Wow! (2, Informative)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673704)

a) my guess is most people will burn it to disk, stick it on another partition... generally have more than one copy.

b) Linux folk have been downloading whole OS from the internet for ages, but even so, vista's the LEAST of the internets worries! [slashdot.org]

Get the facts first! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672478)

Give this a read before buying Fista:

http://seclists.org/isn/2006/Dec/0107.html [seclists.org]

Re:Wow! (1)

bokey (1049758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673036)

Well, doesn't it say downloadable "free of charge with product key" somewhere ?

A few problems (-1, Redundant)

Reverse Gear (891207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672218)

I foresee quite a few problems if it the license going to be in some kind of digital format, what then when the hard disk that has this downloaded version of windoze on it crashes?
As far as I read the articles there is going to be some kind of encrypted key as a license on the server, I am not sure I understand how they intend this to work?

Usually if ever I need an installation of windoze today (which I haven't needed for my own purposes for a long time, wine has really improved lately) I check one of the old laptops I have around for a license sticker and then go find a bit torrent or something else and download the suitable kind of windoze for the license and install it.
As far as I know that is all legal and these stickers are quite common when you, like I do, buy used hardware often.

Another interesting problem with this is what situation you are left in with a corrupted download?
I guess other downloadable paid for products have somehow solved this, I don't have a clue how though.

Re:A few problems (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672340)

Another interesting problem with this is what situation you are left in with a corrupted download?

The download manager redownloads those parts that have CRC failure.

Re:A few problems (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672420)

Yeah but this time (unlike buying from a 3rd party retailer), MS will have your credit card details on file, and would be much easier to verify against, than if you lost your licence details after any other kind of purchase.

Re:A few problems (1)

Jack Pallance (998237) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672670)

Yeah but this time (unlike buying from a 3rd party retailer), MS will have your credit card details on file, and would be much easier to verify against, than if you lost your license details after any other kind of purchase.

Good point. Why would Microsoft bother to verify that your current copy of Vista is good? It would be more profitable for MS to just charge your credit card again. This will be a big benefit to customers because MS will make more money that way. It will all be made clearer in the EULA /sarcasm

Re:A few problems (2, Insightful)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673230)

Fine by me, will just get the license key and issue a chargeback on the card :-)

(joking of cause, I'll not be buying software)

Re:A few problems (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672630)

Just bs=ceause yoyu have a liscense, doesn't mean it's legal to get them from an illegal source.
Also, the liscense doesn't give you permission to get a copy whenever you need one, only a lisence to use the EXACT disk you purchased.
So no, what you are doing is not legal.

Not that I care wehere you get you windoze, but what you are saying is right up there with the 'The police must identify themselves if you ask.' idiocy that circulates.

Re:A few problems (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673670)

I called M$ about this one some years ago. They told me there is no problem to copy the windows CD, and use the same install CD on every computer I own if I have a valid license for each computer (i.e. different serial number ) In my case, they were even happy if I copy a friend Windows XP SP2, because I only had the Windows XP normal.
I also had access to legit windows license available only online. You had no choice but to download the ISO or to use a friend CD. ( for info, that was the Microsoft program for student in europe: tons of software with proper license for not much $)

I'm not saying that Microsoft is fair and logical: for example you could not upgrade from Windows Me Spanish -> XP English. Also there was no way to "upgrade" XP Spanish to XP English without buying a new *full* version english.
But after you paid your 'tax' they used to leave you alone ( they didn't even bother protecting their CD against copy )

Off course now with Genuine Advantage, that may be different ( but no more my concern )

Re:A few problems (4, Insightful)

MrDoh1 (906953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672636)

"... windoze ..."

Could this get any older?

Regardless, it's where I stop reading.

Re:A few problems (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672750)

That's probably for the best. He said some really nasty things about your mother after that word.

Re:A few problems (1)

bubulubugoth (896803) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673120)

ok...

what about vizta ?

Re:A few problems (2, Insightful)

exley (221867) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673534)

Agreed. It's right up there with the use of "M$".

Re:A few problems (1)

gravy.jones (969410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672742)

They may do something like the following and use the MAC address of the PC as the public key and exchange a private certificate that is then verified by this key. On a tangent, companies like Macrovision, who license API's to provide software licensing, at some basic level depend upon the MAC address, the globally unique ID, to establish all or a portion of the users identity for software licensing. I have spent a number of years working with their API's and this is the paradigm that is used. Microsoft may not do this, but I was just generally responding to your curiosity about how it might be done. If the hard drive ever fried then your MAC address is still intact as it is embedded in your NIC card at the hardware level and you can then be re-identified. This is all speculation of course, and in my scenario, not very secure when one would have to beg M$ for a new certificate.

Re:A few problems (4, Informative)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672872)

Microsoft has been doing download distribution of VISTA along with license keys throughout the beta program, I would imagine that the system they will be similar. The activation key is created by a server at Microsoft and it's basically the same thing you'd get on the outside of shrink wrapped box. If I forgot the key I can go back to my Microsoft account and retrieve it, or I can keep a copy on a burned CD or whatever.

As for corrupted downloads, in the process of the Vista beta I downloaded probably 10-15 different copies of the DVD ISO as I progressed through various builds and never had a single corrupted ISO, so I don't see that being a problem. If it had been corrupt I would simply have gone back and re-downloaded. I don't see any reason why the new system would not work the same way since there is no danger from a user downloading multiple copies of the ISO.

Re:A few problems (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672924)

"The company plans to offer Windows and Office for sale on the Web using technology called digital locker, which can safely store the alphanumeric license "keys" that provide customers with rights to use its products, and resume interrupted downloads."
Sounds to me like they'll just give you a normal product key to print out.

Windows XP already works that way. (2, Insightful)

Kagami001 (769862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673626)

I think you're getting confused with the idea of software that comes in two flavors of copy protection, either physical disc-based or online-activation based, where traditionally the former is the lesser of two evils.

But as of Windows XP, Windows already uses online internet activation, regardless of where the bits to install come from. So it doesn't make any difference whether you get it over the internet or get it off a disc. Either way, you enter the product key and the OS contacts Microsoft with a hash of representing your hardware and checks to see how that product key has been used before, with some unspecified limit of installs--per-time-unit before they want you to call on the phone and discuss whether or not you're really moving your copy instead of installing it on 20 PCs or whatever.

Mirror (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672224)

Http://www.mininova.org
Http://www.packetnews.com

Just a few? (5, Funny)

whterbt (211035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672226)

A relatively low number of computer users are likely to get Vista by downloading it from the Internet.

They're obviously unfamiliar with the concept of Bittorrent.

Re:Just a few? (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672306)

Personally I was going to say ...

"A relatively low number of computer users are likely to get Vista by buying it in store.

Seriously, what is the benefit of adopting a new operating system with in 12 to 18 months of it being released?

Re:Just a few? (1)

HeavyMS (820705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672380)

It's shiny!

Re:Just a few? (2, Funny)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673096)

Seriously, what is the benefit of adopting a new operating system with in 12 to 18 months of it being released?

What, you're saying I should only now be considering moving my operating systems to Debian Sarge?

Ye gods.

Re:Just a few? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17673388)

can never use ubuntu...

Re:Just a few? (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673166)

I've been using Vista beta's since summer. You don't notice it at first, but now it annoys me when I return to Windows XP at work.

Re:Just a few? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672444)

Speaking of which, does anybody know how big Vista will be? I'm guessing somewhere in the 1GB range. That's a pretty large file to download. Bittorrent is the best way to do it, but I don't think MS will go for it.

Re:Just a few? (4, Informative)

asills (230118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672524)

If they release the same version that got released via MSDN/Technet (one disc image with all versions on it), then it's 2.5GB for the x86 and 3.5GB for the x64.

Re:Just a few? (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673344)

Out of interest, why is the x64 version almost 50% bigger?
I realise that this is somewhat inherent in 64 bit processor designed apps, but never thought it was anywhere near that much.

Re:Just a few? (2, Insightful)

zxnos (813588) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673452)

my guess would be the 32-bit sandbox for legacy apps. perhaps if it ran pure x64 it would be half the size? dunno. no a computer guy, just speculating.

Re:Just a few? (1)

asills (230118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673536)

The simple answer is because all the files are bigger :)

Winlogon.exe
x86: 301KB
x64: 388KB

The other answer is that there's more 1's and 0's when using 64 bit memory addresses and the like.

Poorly designed code (1, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673598)

Various reason to explain the discrepencies :
- Poorly designed/optimized code will load all constants ('imediates' in machine code nomenclature) from 64 bits representations rather than 32 bits representations. In other words : all constants eats twice as much space as before.
- Prefixes : On 32-bits processors, you need to use an opcode prefix to specify you work on 16bits instead of 32bits. In 64-bits machine code you have an aditionnal prefix to specify 32bits instead of 64bits data width. In other words, you may need to add more prefixes to have the code work as intended.
- x64 architecture is more recent than x86 (although very similare not like IA64), and microsoft's compiler maybe less powerful at optimizing and/or compacting machine code for x64 than code for x86 (and Microsoft aren't bad at x86 optimization for what I've heard, mainly becuse they only have 1 main target to focus on)
- Some advanced functions are only available in 64-bits edition. (The kernel protecting functions that antivirus vendors have complained about is one example).

Note that : on most Linux distribution, the 32bits packages almost uses as much space as the 64bits packages. Therefore it is more a problem of Microsoft not being able to make a smaller install source for 64 bits, rather than inherent to the x64 architecture.

Re:Poorly designed code (1)

asills (230118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673718)

I read this a short while ago somewhere on the internet and now can't find it so can't provide proof, but someone was complaining that a x64 bit ISO for a distro didn't come with the source whereas the x86 did.

Not sure if some distros are having issues like that. According to this (what I think is a legitimate mirror) download Ubuntu 6.10 Desktop x86 is actually bigger than x64 (by a few MB):
http://ubuntu-releases.cs.umn.edu/edgy/ [umn.edu]

Re:Poorly designed code (1)

v616 (971332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673728)

On the other hand, the over all loading time would be longer?!??

Re:Just a few? (1)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673672)

It comes with an extra Windows Media Player skin...

Re:Just a few? (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673116)

OK, think for a minute about the bandwidth Microsoft must have available to handle the release of a major Service Pack for Windows.

Also, Microsoft had to deal with a huge rush of giant downloads when they made the release candidates for Vista freely downloadable from their website. Thousands of thousands of people were simultaneously downloading at high speed.

Re:Just a few? (2, Insightful)

asills (230118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673320)

And they're paying Akamai (or whatever content distribution network they're using) out the arse for it too I'm sure. Luckily for Microsoft, that's not their turf so they just shell out some money and it doesn't completely fill the tubes.

Re:Just a few? (4, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672512)

No, Bittorrent will be where you go to find older versions of Windows, so you can get component video, or maybe just a stable system with no "tilt bits" purposefully introduced every time the compressor turns on in the kitchen fridge.

I must be turning into an old person, the kind you see still using rotary dial phones and rabbit ear antennas. Who needs this newfangled Vista crap! In my day, when you bought music or a movie, it was yours! Now they want you to rent every pleasurable stimulus that enters your senses! These city folk will do anything for a dollar!

Re:Just a few? (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672988)

anything, eh?

Re:Just a few? (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673296)

I'm all for rabbit-ear antennas. Did you know that you can get rabbit-ears that pick up digital OTA signals? I've used a set that works well.
I am hoping to put off upgrading my OS as long as possible.

Re:Just a few? (1)

bluekanoodle (672900) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673100)

Sorry, but in my experience downloading an iso from Microsoft is heck of a lot easier and quicker then bittorrent. Microsoft has quite big pipe on their end, and if their distribution method is at all similar to their technet and msdn downloads, it will be just a matter of downloading the iso and receiving your key. On both technet and msdn downloads, it only takes 1 to 3 hours to download vista on an ordinary DSL line.

Re:Just a few? (1)

FPF422 (1016770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673376)

Even if there were a free legal version on a tracker somewhere, I still wouldn't want that shit on my computer

Umm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672228)

Selling downloadable software is not a new thing, even for Microsoft. It would be news if they didn't offer a downloadable version.

Re:Umm.... (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672652)

Selling downloadable software is not a new thing, even for Microsoft. It would be news if they didn't offer a downloadable version.

But selling a downable OS (that isn't open source or the like)? I can't remember a downable OS from MS or Apple, ever. There's no downable Win XP, or OS X, at least not for single-users.

This is news if it takes off. I for one can much more easily keep track of a string of characters and an ISO (or something) than I can those blasted CDs with crappy paper covers.

It would be cool if.. (5, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672242)

you could just activate the individual features you are interested in, rather than have to buy say vista ultimate just to get one feature you need that happens only to be in ultimate.

Re:It would be cool if.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672328)

but...but...that would help the customer!

Re:It would be cool if.. (2, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672400)

Except for the clueless users that would disable "Firewall" to save $5.

not to mention that Microsoft would then have 2^n versions of windows to test, instead of just 3 (Diet Windows, Regular Windows, Server Windows).

Re:It would be cool if.. (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672514)

Except for those say behind a real firewall...in which case they would not be clueless at all.

Re:It would be cool if.. (5, Funny)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672546)

$5 for windows firewall? is it worth that much?

Re:It would be cool if.. (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673438)

Actually, there appear to be four non-server vs. of Vista: Vista Home Regular, Vista Home Platinum, Vista Corporate, and Vista Ultimate.
And (if I understood the fine MSNBC/AP article correctly), every computer with Vista will have all four vs. on the hard disk: apparently it's a difference of degree, not kind. You won't necc. be able to get at all the features without paying MS--I suppose that it depends on how good you are at breaking DRM and how legal you want to keep things. But all the vs. are there.

Re:It would be cool if.. (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672610)

Wouldn't it be even cooler if it weren't crippled? I mean, imagine actually getting access to every feature of the OS on your machine just buy getting the basic license.

Re:It would be cool if.. (1)

AArmadillo (660847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673098)

You can. But if you don't want to pay the full price for getting access to every feature, there are other options available.

Re:It would be cool if.. (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672792)

It would be cool if you could just activate the individual features you are interested in, rather than have to buy say vista ultimate just to get one feature you need that happens only to be in ultimate.

That sounds way too close to buying your OS and then purchasing the applications you need and installing them seperate.

Re:It would be cool if.. (1)

LostEmail (1053128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672894)

That would definitely be neat. You run Windows Update and check off any features or applications that you would like. Your security updates would still come in through automatic updates, and any updates for applications that you checked off. They could then incrementally roll out new features (and charge for them) as they add new things.

Re:It would be cool if.. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673472)

you could just activate the individual features you are interested in, rather than have to buy say vista ultimate just to get one feature you need that happens only to be in ultimate.

Too complex for a mass market distribution.

Ultimate seems to target the professional who needs a secure, high-performance, home office machine, but also enjoys media and gaming. Someone who would be inclined to spring for the whole package, anyway.

we will lol (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672336)

Additionally, users who decide to 'upgrade' to a more expensive version of the OS can simply activate the features they want by unlocking them via online activation.


You know what that means?
Paired with the cracked activation server(s), January 31st you will be able to buy the most basic version and almost instantly be able to upgrade to the 'ultimate' for free.

I'll go ahead and say 'I told you so' now, because ms's track record with security has, and always will be subpar at best.

The activation server (was re: we will lol) (1)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673488)

The activation server only works for the business edition.

Re:The activation server (was re: we will lol) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17673738)

hence the (s) in
server(s)

OS Downloads (2, Interesting)

tehSpork (1000190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672358)

...a relatively low number of computer users are likely to get Vista by downloading it from the Internet...

I would say that is accurate. If you're smart enough to be able to download Vista you can download your favorite Linux distro instead with less effort. It also stands a good chance of working with your hardware, unlike Vista. :)

Re:OS Downloads (2, Funny)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672712)

If you don't count your wireless card, your USB DSL modem, your scanner...

Good for the environment (4, Insightful)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672382)

As much as some can hate Microsoft, this is good and others should follow. At least good for the environment, less hardware, less energy used for shipping. Of course, the ability to burn an Install and Crash/Recover DVD is essential. It even allows reaching the customers faster. I guess it would also be appropriate to continue shipping physical copies for those with limited Internet access and/or want the user manual. (I don't think this will significantly impact piracy. Piracy will occur anyway.)

Re:Good for the environment (2, Informative)

Trelane (16124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672526)

As much as some can hate Microsoft, this is good and others should follow.

Yep. Good thing Linux has been doing it for over a decade now. Nice to see Microsoft finally catching up. Now, if only they would get rid of the activation and Genuine (dis)Advantage crapola....

Did you even try to think? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672572)

People will need to burn DVD's themselves, and they probably won't be as good at it as a professional orginization designed to print DVDs.

That means more mistakes.
That means more waste
That means LESS good for the enviroment.

Re:Did you even try to think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672848)

To minimize waste Vista should be available in stores in the form of a small envelope containing the strict minimum: DVD and proof-of-license sticker. Somehow I guess the marketing department was against that. After all, no one would take Vista seriously if it isn't sold in a big retail box.

Re:Did you even try to think? (1)

Kesh (65890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673638)

You're forgetting:

The packaging
The manual
The CD jewel case/DVD plastic case
The shipping boxes, containers, etc.
The impact of moving those shipping containers cross-country

I think the offset from downloads would make up for a few CD/DVD coasters. Maybe not with this first Vista launch but, over time as more companies start doing this for their products.

Re:Good for the environment (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673254)

As much as some can hate Microsoft, this is good and others should follow.

"Follow"? As if Microsoft is somehow the "leader", the first to make either

  1. commercial, for-pay software, or
  2. operating systems, or
  3. office suites
available for download?

Windows Update (5, Funny)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672384)

I can just see the windows update icon popping up every few days on my windows XP machine.

The following updates are available:
      [ ] Windows Vista

Please click the upgrade button to download and have your credit card ready.

Vista will be legally downloadable!!! (5, Funny)

anss123 (985305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672436)

Linux, take that!

Vista will be legally downloadable (5, Funny)

UPZ (947916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672458)

also if PirateBay relocates to Sealand..

Re:Vista will be legally downloadable (1)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672624)

Microsoft would probably buy the USS Iowa, refit it, and declare war on Sealand.

Re:Vista will be legally downloadable (2, Funny)

aerthling (796790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673698)

Yeah! It would fire chair-torpedoes and be manned by screaming, sweaty orangutans.

Failing that, they could just crash into it.

Will it be cheaper? (4, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672476)

Otherwise, I assume this is just an MS attempt to cut down the (minimal) costs they spend on the useless mini-manual and DVD in an envelope packaging.

You buy SuSE, you get 4 manuals that describe, in detail, every function of the system, from installing to CD burning to firewall configuration to scanning/printing.

You buy Windows? You get a 12 page manual that decsribed the on button, and how to use a Mouse. Enjoy!

Re:Will it be cheaper? (2, Insightful)

LinuxIsRetarded (995083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672972)

You buy SuSE, you get 4 manuals that describe, in detail, every function of the system, from installing to CD burning to firewall configuration to scanning/printing. You buy Windows? You get a 12 page manual that decsribed the on button, and how to use a Mouse. Enjoy!
And that's why mom and pop will never switch to Linux. They want a simple system that only requires basic mouse skills and has a detailed online help system. They don't want to be forced to thumb through volumes of config file values and command line switches.

Re:Will it be cheaper? (1)

jschoenberg (828313) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673570)

You've got to be kidding, right? Why on earth would you want the API in paper form? Especially in four volumes!? Why is a physical book better than searchable online documentation for free, like MSDN!? The truth is exactly the opposite from what you said...suse is lame because they ship four physical books with their product, while Microsoft asks you to go online, saving packaging that for many goes straight in the trash. And about the 'manual' that Microsoft DOES ship with Windows, you might want to check it out for yourself, since there is no book at all with XP SP2 and Vista.

Re:Will it be cheaper? (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673580)

"You buy Windows? You get a 12-page manual that described the on button, and how to use a Mouse."
Of course, the other 988 pages of the manual will be on the computer, in the program itself. The trick will be knowing how to use Vista well enough to find the instructions on how to use Vista.
(Catch-22?)

Minimum requirements... (0, Redundant)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672490)

In order to download vista please authenticate via "genuine advantage 2007" that only runs on vista.

Re:Minimum requirements... (1)

dreamlax (981973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673642)

That reminds me a lot of when I tried to install StuffIt on OS 7. It was inside a StuffIt archive. And no, it wasn't self-extracting.

That's a surprisingly good model IMHO (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672532)

Okay so I don't imagine myself participating as a consumer, I have to admit that if they play this right, they will be able to sell minimalistic versions of their OS (or pass them out in magazines and newspapers) just to get things started. Then, if people want more functionality, say to burn a CD/DVD or whatever, they pay for it incrementally. It would make the OS feel more affordable. I can imagine many people going for this.

Re:That's a surprisingly good model IMHO (1)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673140)

It would make the OS feel more affordable.

99% of consumers bought their computer from an OEM supplier; most people think Windows is free. Just look at comments like this [slashdot.org] ; people think they just buy a computer and magically get Windows. I can't see any significant fraction of consumers actually wanting to legally download it online.

Re:That's a surprisingly good model IMHO (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673206)

I like the idea. How much of a discount to I get if I don't opt for the DRM package?

I'm game... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672592)

I'm just waiting for Windows Vista to appear on Valve's Steam service.

Re:I'm game... (1)

eyeonit (1053122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672626)

Damn, so Redmond is really Black Mesa??? Poor Gordon

So? (2, Funny)

workbench (875813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672594)

I don't see what the big deal is, I've been downloading stuff "legally" for years...

Legally downloadable OS WOW (0, Offtopic)

SuseLover (996311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672644)

Thats a surprise. I've been downloading Linux/Solaris/Unix for how long now?

Yeah you can add the features you want online, but at what cost? Will it be like the $2.99 songs/ringtones for phones, nickel & diming us for each overpriced one?

Re:Legally downloadable OS WOW (2, Funny)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673192)

It'll probably be something like:

Notepad = $FREE
Wordpad = $FREE
Desktop icons = $FREE
Themes = $FREE
Networking = $299
Installer = $99
Start Button = $FREE
Windows Genuine Advantage = $49 (MANDATORY)

Vista already legally downloadble (4, Informative)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672738)

Through MSDN. You download the ISO and they give you a product key. Will the new download service work the same way?
The bigger news is that Microsoft is also selling Office this way. I know I can't download Word/PowerPoint/Excel through MSDNAA, and I also believe that you can't download it from regular MSDN.

Re:Vista already legally downloadble (3, Interesting)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673416)

I have a MSDN subscription through work, and downloaded Office 2007 when it was released to subscribers a few months ago.

(It's nice, for business use at least. I wouldn't pay for it at home (that's what OOo is for), but I love it when I switch to "business user" mode.)

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (0, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672766)

I wonder if this is a violation of Sarbanes-Oxley Act like Apple says here ..

http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/16/ 2127204 [slashdot.org]

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley Act (1)

Snad (719864) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673378)

No - since Microsoft will doubtless be charging for the "new" features as they are unlocked. As such Microsoft will be recognising the income for the new features at the time they're sold (ie when the user unlocks them and pays ia their credit card over the tubes).

Apple's issue was that they determined they couldn't unlock extra functionality for free. Microsoft has no intention of upgrading a downloaded user at no charge.

Vista in a VM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672806)

I'm never letting this filth touch my hardware but I can use it for testing under KVM/QEMU, how does it perform?

say no to drm, say no to microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672934)

the sad part about it is people actually pay and to get it up their own ass.

A few pointers... (2, Funny)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672960)

I wonder how many Microsoft Points that will cost.

Not so fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17673288)

"MS-NBC Online notes that, 'a relatively low number of computer users are likely to get Vista by downloading it from the Internet, but the mere availability indicates that Microsoft is fiddling with distribution methods for the extremely profitable franchise at the core of its business.' "

The keyword here should be "legally".

No officer, this isn't a pirated copy.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17673342)

I downloaded it from the internet!

MSDNAA (1)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673494)

Do any college students know when Vista will be available on MSDNAA? I keep looking but I'm still stuck with XP. Also, what version of Vista can we expect?

Old news (2, Informative)

HaMMeReD3 (891549) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673590)

I guess most people haven't heard of msdn, where literally every microsoft product ever is available in downloadable form.

Besides, it's obvious now that vista is out that nobody cares.

Microtransactions? (1)

Anthony Baby (1015379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673632)

Additionally, users who decide to 'upgrade' to a more expensive version of the OS can simply activate the features they want by unlocking them via online activation.

Just a clarification, but does this mean Microsoft may be steering the Windows operating system towards being a kind of microtransactions-based product where you purchase a core OS and can then keep tacking on cool plugins features at a premium like Hi-Def content, codecs, themes, and utilities; or is it more like Apple with respect to MPEG-2 decoding in QuickTime, QuickTime Pro, and now 802.11n?

Interesting... (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673652)

It seems as though the features will be included, but not activated... How long until a patch of some sort opens up that functionality?
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