CompUSA to Sell Vista November 30

Small businesses looking to get an early start on upgrading to Windows Vista won't need to wait until the new operating system's late January 2007 launch after all. Microsoft has partnered with CompUSA to sell a special kit containing Vista Business and Office 2007 Small Business.

The Small Business Value Program Kit is designed for those needing five or more licenses of the two products. It won't contain any actual software, however, as Microsoft is still in the process of preparing retail packaging for January. Instead, it will contain an activation code and instructions for downloading Vista and Office 2007 from the Web.

Previously, Microsoft announced November 30 availability of Windows Vista and Office 2007 for its volume licensing customers. The company says that because more than 50 percent of small businesses shop at retail stores for their software, it decided to extend its Open Business and Open Value offerings -- which include the kit -- to CompUSA customers.

The initiative will be expanded to additional brick-and-mortar retailers beginning next year.

Microsoft didn't announce pricing, but said the program "enables small organizations to gain significant savings from the estimated retail prices of full packaged Microsoft products." Those businesses can also sign up for Software Assurance, Microsoft's program to provide support and updates over a certain period of time.

Subscribers to the company’s MSDN developers’ network, meanwhile, were informed this morning that the final edition of Office 2007 is now available for download.

Subscribers at the Premium level will be eligible to download Office 2007 and receive product keys from MSDN. Premium subscriptions are the company’s new top-tier, replacing Enterprise and Universal, and individual subscribers can pay as much as $2,500 for a two-year term. Thus, it’s not like these folks are getting something for free – they're just getting it earlier than most.

A notice from MSDN Subscriptions Program Manager Seth Adams this morning advised subscribers that the final edition of Windows Vista will also be made available this coming Friday. Vista should be available for Professional tier subscribers, who pay $1,199 for new two-year terms, and subscribers to the Microsoft Operating Systems program, whose fee is $699.

Licenses obtained during these terms are perpetual, meaning they don’t expire at the end of the subscription.

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