Windows Vista ships as one unlockable bit image

Microsoft intends to simplify delivering the numerous Windows Vista variants by shipping just a single DVD image, then allowing each customer to unlock the desired variant electronically. This not only simplifies initial delivery but also later upgrades which merely require another activation for the existing DVD.

According to several sources briefed on the Vista packaging plans, the Redmond, Wash., software giant will market several versions of Vista in the United States but will distribute the same master OS bit set with all copies shipped so that users can unlock and step up to more full-featured editions electronically. “No matter which edition you buy, you get all the bits and a key to unlock it,” said one source.

The plan will drive more incremental revenue for Microsoft and provide an electronic way of pitching Windows Live services and Web services, sources said.

Amusingly, this move angers some Microsoft partners who used to make good money from helping customers with OS upgrades:

The master OS will eliminate the need for service partners to support multiple OS images and wipe and reload PCs every time a customer wants to step up to more full-featured products.

“If an OS gets hosed and we have to reload, it means making sure we’ve got the correct set of disks for that specific load, be it XP Home or Pro, finding out what specific service level [the customer has] and the type of licensing model,” said Jeffrey Sherman, president of Warever Computing, Los Angeles.

The plan also will hurt VARs’ services business. Partners hope Microsoft rewards them for step ups they influence, but they are not optimistic.

“The current need to reinstall new versions of Windows when users step up is a significant source of revenue for some partners,” said Oli Thordarson, president of Alvaka Networks, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Arrrr, mateys!

“The current need to reinstall new versions of Windows when users step up is a significant source of revenue for some partners,” said Oli Thordarson, president of Alvaka Networks, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Tough fucking, and also shit.

This’ll certainly make it easier for those pirates who release that *-in-1 bootable images, won’t it?

Answer: VARs and Richard Stallman

Question: Who are the only people on God’s green earth who would get pissed off if MS started to improve certain aspects of their products?

Hey, Oli: Fuck you.

Wait wait, “when users step up.” I think Oli just mad-dogged me. Rather, he’s being amusingly coy and trying very hard not to bite the hand that feeds him outright, since he’s already on deck for whining about the hand in the first place. See, he can’t just say

Yeah thats what I was thinking :D