Microsoft plans to market several versions of Vista but will distribute all of the OS bits with every product shipped so users can easily unlock and step up to more full-featured versions using electronic keys, sources said.
“No matter which edition you buy you get all the bits and a key to unlock it. Everyone will have all the bits,” said one source familiar with Microsoft’s plans. “Right now we maintain master images for each version of Windows XP and it’s a lot of work. Now there’s just one master image.”
Yet such a move removes partners from the step up process and revenue stream and gives Microsoft a more direct relationship with corporate customers and consumers worldwide.
Microsoft would not comment on the story.
This seems fraught with undesirable consequences for both Microsoft and the partners, but the real question is whether it is worthwhile to have all the rumored versions in the first place.