Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

Don’t I get the same version with a Windows Retail Upgrade as with Software Assurance?

Nope.  In fact, with a retail upgrade as a Small Business, you can buy the single upgrade, but that is far less flexibility and options than with Software Assurance.  Let’s take a look:


If you buy the Windows Vista Business Upgrade via Retail box, you will receive:


Win Upgrade No SA 




If you had Software Assurance on your Windows licenses, you would receive:


Win Upg With SA 








Notice the big difference.  With Software Assurance, you have the option to upgrade to Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise (exclusive version only available for Software Assurance customers), or Windows Vista Ultimate for your machines with Software Assurance, not just the Windows Vista Business.  Plus, you’ll receive the eLearning courses to go along with it so you can learn about the new features inside Windows Vista (you don’t get the eLearning with the Retail upgrade).


Oh, and if you’re buying Office Small Business Edition in the near future, the ERP of the Small Business Desktop Advantage offer (which includes the Office Small Business Edition License, the Windows XP Professional Upgrade, an SBS Client Access License, and three years of Software Assurance benefits for each of these) is less than buying just the Office Small Business Edition License + Software Assurance and a Windows Vista Business Retail upgrade, so you might want to take a look at it as a way to get more for less from those budget dollars.


As of October, 2008, platform options (such as the Small Business Desktop Advantage) are now handled through the “Build Your Own Platform” model.  Here is the post that explains this new option for you.


Thank you and have a wonderful day,


Eric Ligman

Microsoft US Senior Manager

Small Business Community Engagement

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights