Monday, November 17, 2008

Microsoft Launches The Microsoft Store Online

U.S. customers are now able to buy first-party software and hardware directly from Microsoft offered in a comprehensive online catalog. Following its launch in the UK, Germany and Korea, Microsoft has finally launched the Microsoft Store for the US at

The store will offer products from many categories, ranging from Office 2007 Home and Student and Zoo Tycoon 2 to Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers and the new Zune. Microsoft Senior Program Manager Trevin Chow notes that many Microsoft products to buy and download. This is also commonly referred to as Electronic Software Distribution (ESD).

You pay for an ESD product just like you would for one that would be physically shipped to you. The big difference is that after your payment is confirmed, you can immediately download the product to your computer and install it right away. There is no longer any need to pay for shipping costs and waiting for the big brown truck to drive across the country. You’ll be able to enjoy your software almost immediately – all it takes is the download time of the product, which will vary depending on the size of the digital download.

The obvious fear for most users buying ESD products is not having the software on physical media to re-install the product at a later time. Microsoft Store solves this by letting you re-download the product until mainstream support for the product ends. Typically this is 5 years after the product is released. You always have the option of copying the downloaded products to physical media if you want to have it available longer than the mainstream support lifetime. (You can look up the mainstream support lifecycles for all Microsoft products on the main Microsoft Help and Support site.)

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