Microsoft Confirms Upgrade Feature Planned For Windows Vista - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Confirms Upgrade Feature Planned For Windows Vista

Windows Anytime Upgrade would enable users of Windows Vista Home Basic to upgrade to either the Home Premium or Ultimate versions of the OS from their computer.

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday confirmed that a feature called Windows Anytime Upgrade was in Vista, the next major update of the operating system, but declined to discuss details.

Tech journalist Ed Bott reported on his blog this week that the feature would enable users of Windows Vista Home Basic to upgrade to either the Home Premium or Ultimate versions of the OS from their computer.

Bott showed screenshots of the feature and said it could be accessed through the control panel. After choosing an upgrade, the user would be sent to a Microsoft partner's site to buy and download a license. Once that's done, the user could insert the original CD or DVD to upgrade the OS, Bott said.

In sending the user to a partner site, Microsoft is apparently avoiding competition with computer manufacturers by not selling licenses directly to computer users, Bott said.

A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed the Vista feature, but declined to provide further details.

"While Microsoft is always looking for new ways to provide convenience to customers and is committed to constantly improving upon the user experience, we do not have any specific product plans or details to announce at this time regarding Windows Anytime Upgrade," the spokeswoman said in an email.

Microsoft is going to ship six versions of Vista. The different SKUs, or stock keeping unit, includes Vista Starter, Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, Vista Home Ultimate, Vista Business and Vista Enterprise.

The Ultimate Edition would contain all the multimedia functionality of the Home Premium Edition and the business-focused capabilities of the business versions.

CRN magazine, a CMP Media publication, has also reported that Microsoft planned to distribute multiple versions of the OS on one disk.

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