I think we have briefly heard about this before, and Chinese tech site WPDang just got confirmation from their informants: Microsoft will cancel retail package of Windows 8. This means you won't be able to grab a DVD copy at nearby store. Instead, to get the latest member of the Windows family, you have the following options:
- Buy a branded PC, and get preloaded Windows 8
- Some OEM have Windows 8 upgrade coupons for buyers of existing Windows 7 computers, providing a way to the future
- If you have a genuine copy of Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, Microsoft has an online upgrading program. Sets you $14.99 for an upgrade from Windows 7, and $39.99 for upgrade from its elder brothers
Previously leaked retail package design for Windows 8 won't materialize at all. Want the new Windows? Get it online. This will supposedly reduce production cost, help protect the environment, ease the upgrading process, and probably accelerate the distribution of the OS. However, if true indeed, two kinds of consumers are left out: the ones building their own computers instead of buying from any brand, and the ones without internet access or with only dial-up-ish slow services.
I'm not sure about elsewhere. But in China, self-built PC is a large market. Computers are no longer luxuries they used to be in 1990s. Still they are quite a cost to average Chinese family. Buying parts and DIYing the rest of it is still a popular option these days, because it's still remarkably cheaper than buying branded ware. There's definitely no OEM preloading or coupon of any sort for these. Has Microsoft considered that? What should DIYers do? Hunt down a cheap copy of older Windows then pay again for digital upgrading? That sounds awfully complicated to me.
And internet bandwidth problem. Here in China the primary connection is ADSL from 512Kbps to 8Mbps. I'm sure there are countries on this planet doing even worse than us. Wait a day or two just for downloading doesn't sound nice.
So what do you think? Do you feel digital distribution for Windows 8 a relief? Or more like annoyance?