Is Microsoft cancelling Windows 8 retail box plans? [Update: retail plans still in place]

In August, images of the two retail box designs that Microsoft was supposed to use for the retail DVD box versions of Windows 8 leaked on the Internet. Microsoft did not confirm or deny the authenticity of the images at the time. Now there's a new rumor that claims Microsoft will do away with any plans to offer a retail box copy of Windows 8.

According to a report on the Chinese language website WPDang, Microsoft will now only offer an downloadable upgrade for older versions of Windows to Windows 8, or on a disk with a new PC after Windows 8 is launched on October 26th. People who want to build a new PC will also be able to receive a Windows 8 disk via the Personal Use License for System Builder program. We have emailed Microsoft to receive a comment on this new report.

It does seem very odd that Microsoft, with just six weeks to go before the official launch of Windows 8, has yet to officially confirm plans to offer Windows 8 in retail box versions on a DVD disk. However, it perhaps should not be much of a shock if Microsoft is indeed doing away with the traditional retail Windows 8 disk program.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson referred us to an earlier Windows blog post which said it would offer a retail box upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for older PCs for $69.99 until January 31, 2013.

Source: WPDang | Image via The Verge

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55 Comments

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I certainly hope not, most especially if the download does not include some kind of hash total to verify the accuracy of the download. Not nice when one spends hours downloading Windows-8, trying to do an install which does not work...only to find out that the download was defective (with no way of knowing in advance). Thank you...I'll pay a modest amount for a Microsoft created DVD.

I'm all for it, it means a greater chance that the download will be kept up to date so when you install it, you don't have to install tons of updates. Still plan on making backup discs though.

ir0nw0lf said,
As a system builder, I approve of this, means the possibility of more people coming in and buying the OEM version.

Uh...technically you can't buy the OEM version without hardware or is that you are saying?

I'm sure MS will be more than happy to ship you a DVD when you purchase online. Just like most digital purchases, there will likely be an option to pay for media and have it shipped.

zeke009 said,
I'm sure MS will be more than happy to ship you a DVD when you purchase online. Just like most digital purchases, there will likely be an option to pay for media and have it shipped.

That would be a smart choice to make. We can only hope that MS makes the right choice, and presents that option.

I could give a ****. I do all my OS installs for customers and myself off USB flash drives or a external hard drive. If I need a disc I burn one.

scaramonga said,
Lets hope they cancel the digital versions also.

Why shouldn't I get it because YOU don't like it? Are you really that selfish/egocentric?

scaramonga said,
Lets hope they cancel the digital versions also.

Didn't you hear? Microsoft has cancelled support for Windows 7, and will be only supporting Windows 8 after October.


What an asinine statement to make.

Lamp Post said,

Why shouldn't I get it because YOU don't like it? Are you really that selfish/egocentric?

Or just that stupid. I choose all of the above.

Dot Matrix said,

Didn't you hear? Microsoft has cancelled support for Windows 7, and will be only supporting Windows 8 after October.


What an asinine statement to make.

Another one added on record, just to show what a fool you really are I'm doing the 'copy' thing this time though. Wish I had done it with Vista before, same old faces, same old tune We will see. My money is pretty safe anyway, as regards, this giant turd

Edited by scaramonga, Sep 15 2012, 1:03am :

I wonder if a lack of demand from retail chains has anything to do with it.

I also agree that only offering downloads is a bad idea. Even here in the tri-state NYC area, I have client locations where downloading files even at sizes around 100MB or so is equatable to watching paint dry.

Condere said,
I wonder if a lack of demand from retail chains has anything to do with it.

I also agree that only offering downloads is a bad idea. Even here in the tri-state NYC area, I have client locations where downloading files even at sizes around 100MB or so is equatable to watching paint dry.

Keep a 4 or 8gb flash drive with the install files. Much better than a disc.

This would mean that you can't buy a copy to use in a virtual machine.
It would also mean people who buy macs will no longer be able to install on bootcamp.

I think this rumour is cr**

mog0 said,
This would mean that you can't buy a copy to use in a virtual machine.
It would also mean people who buy macs will no longer be able to install on bootcamp.

I think this rumour is cr**

You don't need Windows on a disc to install it as a virtual machine. You'll beable to buy your product code online and thats all you really need to activate it.
The source for Windows 8 doesn't matter too much, you can make a copy from a friend who's downloaded it, burnt it to DVD or stuck it on USB for you.

rdmiller said,
This isn't a rumor. MJF carefully explained all this some time back.

Yes, indeed. Besides, it was never mentioned that there will be retail boxes. Which reminds us that Microsoft should finally announce ALL prices and options for Windows 8, we're halfway through September already.

rdmiller said,
This isn't a rumor. MJF carefully explained all this some time back.

I had no idea Michael J Fox was so well informed.

If theres no boxes out there Microsoft can pretend Windows 8 never happened

Lol, a few months ago i found an unopened copy of WinME in a cupboard at a place i volunteer, and i brutally dispatched it in ways that arent suitable to recount in polite company

LiquidCrystalMeth said,
If theres no boxes out there Microsoft can pretend Windows 8 never happened

Lol, a few months ago i found an unopened copy of WinME in a cupboard at a place i volunteer, and i brutally dispatched it in ways that arent suitable to recount in polite company

not sure you'll look back favourably on that. Mint condition and unopened box? In 20 or 30 years a collector might have paid you a fair sum for that

technikal said,

not sure you'll look back favourably on that. Mint condition and unopened box? In 20 or 30 years a collector might have paid you a fair sum for that

No.

LiquidCrystalMeth said,

Correct

Wrong. I'd have paid you a fair sum. There is always going to be some idiot out there who'll buy crap off you just so they can destroy it themselfs.

LiquidCrystalMeth said,
If theres no boxes out there Microsoft can pretend Windows 8 never happened

Lol, a few months ago i found an unopened copy of WinME in a cupboard at a place i volunteer, and i brutally dispatched it in ways that arent suitable to recount in polite company

Very unnecessary thing to do, you should have kept it and put it on a shelf. I keep all my Windows product boxes as souvenirs. Even have a special Windows 7 Ultimate Special Edition I got for testing it. Don't have 95 and 3.1 though since I got those on new PC's but I got the OEM manuals though.

Mr. Dee said,

Very unnecessary thing to do, you should have kept it and put it on a shelf. I keep all my Windows product boxes as souvenirs. Even have a special Windows 7 Ultimate Special Edition I got for testing it. Don't have 95 and 3.1 though since I got those on new PC's but I got the OEM manuals though.

I've got 7 Ultimate Signature Edition. But I don't keep any of them, there is no point. I can only use the licence once.

Nashy said,

I've got 7 Ultimate Signature Edition. But I don't keep any of them, there is no point. I can only use the licence once.

Half truths. If the windows 8 upgrade offer requires a valid license from prior versions, you'll need your past product key (COA). The case might be also true for Windows 9 too (or what ever they decide to call it).

Nashy said,
I want a disc thanks. And I don't want one I've burnt. I want a real genuine disc.

Why? Distributing software on a disc isn't needed, in the vast majority of cases. Discs will become obsolete, and I believe they should.

Nashy said,
I want a disc thanks. And I don't want one I've burnt. I want a real genuine disc.

What's the point? Buy a $5 4GB or $8 8GB flash drive to dedicate for Windows installation. Works on any computer including ones without CD drives and installs faster than from disk. 4GB will hold either 32 or 64 bit while 8GB is enough for both.

The cost of the flash drive is quite a bit less than it was going to cost to get a retail ($70) vs download ($40) copy.

Calum said,

Why? Distributing software on a disc isn't needed, in the vast majority of cases. Discs will become obsolete, and I believe they should.

I guess defending emotional values on a tech forum has it's difficulties...
Moments like these are when I think I'm alien to this community's way of thinking in general...

*sigh*

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

I guess defending emotional values on a tech forum has it's difficulties...
Moments like these are when I think I'm alien to this community's way of thinking in general...

*sigh*

GS:mac


I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Care to expand? I hope I haven't offended you.

Calum said,

Why? Distributing software on a disc isn't needed, in the vast majority of cases. Discs will become obsolete, and I believe they should.

Does that mean I have to conform and love it? Just because something is happening, doesn't mean everyone has to like it. Look at the entire Windows 8 OS. IMO, it's a heap of ****.

Nashy said,

Does that mean I have to conform and love it? Just because something is happening, doesn't mean everyone has to like it. Look at the entire Windows 8 OS. IMO, it's a heap of ****.


It certainly doesn't mean that. That's why I asked why, because I'm curious to know why you'd be against what many of us deem an improvement. I wouldn't ever assume someone doesn't have a reasonable reason; I'm just always curious as to why.

LightEco said,
This would be a mistake. Anyone without a uncapped high speed internet connection would be greatly at a loss.

I'm sure the same stores you'd be normally buying it on disc in a retail box will have fast enough internet access or a way to duplicate you an install DVD while you register for a cdkey, I bet they can even do that for you AND print you a product key off in store.

If this is the case. I'm sure we'll be seeing pre-loading the ISO on USB sticks and a DVDs and selling product codes from Microsofts site directly in retail stores.

LightEco said,
This would be a mistake. Anyone without a uncapped high speed internet connection would be greatly at a loss.

Getting a copy of Windows without fast Internet is easy. There is likely to be someone who will have a copy already you can borrow and use.

They should dedicate a small section of their website for developers and free-lancers to buy copies of Windows RT to use on unofficial devices / stuff they've building themselves.

thealexweb said,
They should dedicate a small section of their website for developers and free-lancers to buy copies of Windows RT to use on unofficial devices / stuff they've building themselves.

Windows RT? But... what hardware do you have that could possibly run it? Drivers...

that is a horrible design. so good!

it should be clean and simple. not crazy and messy. that looks more like a lunch box than a software product. get rid of all the colored...jungle thing and keep it 3 tones max.

neonspark said,
that is a horrible design. so good!

it should be clean and simple. not crazy and messy. that looks more like a lunch box than a software product. get rid of all the colored...jungle thing and keep it 3 tones max.

Horrible box for a horrible product, goes well together!

neonspark said,
that is a horrible design. so good!

it should be clean and simple. not crazy and messy. that looks more like a lunch box than a software product. get rid of all the colored...jungle thing and keep it 3 tones max.

Looks like a design from the early 90s. I think I had a shirt that looked like that.