Windows Vista Anytime Upgrade Packs

Windows Anytime UpgradeWindows Anytime Upgrade is an innovative service by Microsoft to help users upgrade to higher versions of Windows when they find the need to. It was, and still is, a great idea by offering an easy and cost-efficient method of upgrading at any time, removing some of the contemplation to initially purchasing any versions of Windows Vista, in doubt you might “grow out of it”. Previously available only through purchase online, now it also comes in a box.

Initially, the program was restrictive because users could only purchase the upgrade online through one channel, Microsoft, limiting both availability and choice. But now it appears that “Upgrade Packs” you can touch and feel can be bought from many IT retailers. It doesn’t seem like anyone took notice, but according to Amazon these have been available since May 1.

Windows Vista Anytime Upgrade PackWindows Vista Anytime Upgrade Pack
Windows Vista Anytime Upgrade PackWindows Vista Anytime Upgrade Pack

Apart from a pretty cool looking and informative packaging, it’s not clear what these packs actually contain. This might be the “DVD media” which users can order for a nominal shipping fee when ordering online, but in that case how is the digital license key delivered? In the online version, a key is stored in the “Digital Locker“. Maybe this version comes with a product key to type? Nevertheless, it’s guaranteed to work.

If you’re looking to upgrade your versions of Windows Vista, but don’t have a credit card or simply aren’t comfortable with buying software online without being able to hold on to the packaging, then consider buying one of these packs. The prices are extremely competitive, only 50c dearer than purchasing online – probably even cheaper than buying online and ordering the DVD. It also appears to be available just about anywhere. Except Australia, doh.

28 insightful thoughts

  1. Long,
    Just wanted to check in and say I love the look/feel of your blog. Where do you get such high rez graphics for the Microsoft stuff? I like the attention to detail you put into the graphics in your posts. It really makes your blog stand out vs. others.


  2. Long, any news about the promised extras for Windows Ultimate? The Windows Ultimate blog is abnormally quiet…

  3. Looks very well! Simple and beautiful design.

    @Kd: Vista Business is like an Ultimate version without all the media stuff like Media Center and Movie Maker.

  4. I like the package’s nice design and slim factor. Much more eco-friendly and less space-waste than the big official Vista DVD boxes. At least I think Microsoft gets package design out right, like Apple’s pretty eye candy boxes.

  5. @Kurt Brockett: Thanks for the kind words. I spent a lot of time into presentation besides content so I try to get high quality graphics where possible. In this case, I got the box shots from Amazon.

    There is no “place” to get high resolution graphics, especially not Microsoft. The best bet is to search around.

  6. @Kd: basically it’s like this:

    Home Premium: Media center, DVD maker, all the multimedia stuff.
    Business: IIS, can connect to domains, EFS, RDP, mainly the old XP Pro stuff.
    Ultimate: Can do both + more.

  7. @Sven

    Although you didnt say you couldn’t I want to clarify that you can install IIS on Vista Home Premium too, it’s there in the windows components and works just fine when installed.

    It’s really quite weird, they included IIS but not a fax application, you have to buy Ultimate for that (possibly included in Business too).

    There is a lot of small things that are different between the versions, for example I was clicking around some administrative tool the other day on Home Premium (dont exactly remember which one) and was suddenly presented with the message that this panel is not available on this version of Vista.

    I wonder where the FULL list of what is available in the different versions is, including various tools and system panels missing. I havent found one, they list like ten features in their comparison between versions.

    The lack of a fax application in Home Premium annoys the hell out of me, I can develop on IIS but I can’t receive a fax, ridicolous.

  8. I wanna upgrade from Premium to Ultimate (the previous versions (la time-machine) and the system image restore functions are worth the admission alone) but Doh! I reside in Australia too.

  9. I wish you get the answer to the questions you raise. But, isn’t it interesting that in the post iPhone era (ahem!), or is the post Apple era, the physical styling of objects as ordinary as the disc covers you show has assumed so much significance.

    If this can be achieved without perceptible alteration of cost, then more power to the designers. But that is a very big “If!”

  10. Available everywhere except the UK, where we receive rip-off prices for everything from Microsoft. Vista Ultimate costs $339.99 from Amazon US, we get it for £321.48 ($640.29)

  11. Did anyone ever figure out how they decide where not to sell the software (“Not available in Nebraska”)? I would ordinarily understand this is the product was something that required great regulation or clearances. But, why is an OS software available in one US state and not another?

  12. Also, a note about buying upgrades from windowsmarketplace, what you get is a small license file to install just before you do the upgrade from any vista dvd marked with the “windows anytime” logo.

    You do not get a new license number, this means that when you want to reinstall your system you first have to install the old version, then do the upgrade again.

  13. Excellent box-shots. They looks awesome too. This is the kind of content that you can’t get anywhere else and it makes your blog ROCK, Long!

  14. i updated my home premium dell machine to vista ultimate a few weeks ago. Since yesterday my machine complains that i should GENUINE cause i wasn’t. Of course i am. i bought a DELL machine and acquired a windows anytime upgrade licence file through the microsoft online site (and cashing out another 170€ which is about 232US$). The update took ages (i mean it, it took at least 6 hours on this quad core machine)

    Nothing was put into my digital locker (checked again today) and how could it, since it never asked me for my windows live id ?

    I am a vivid microsoft user and developer ever since windows 3.1 and totally understand the whole genuine and upgrade thing from a business perspective , but having a totally broken upgrade process which tells users of their product they stole it or gotten it from somewhere else is unbelievable.

    BTW. I called ms support the very day to tell them of my issues (like not being asked for the windows live id and no digital locker icon in my control panel and all the other discrepancies that occured to me, but they would not listen and basically told me that everything is just fine the way it is. Now this may have been just the german support people talking which are somewhat less interested in anything out of their schema but still i feel annoyed since this i was wanting to help them sort it out right then).

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