I have seen many changes impact on UK ISVs over the last 10 years - everything from customers "demanding" browser access with identical functionality to rich client :-), to the impact of offshoreing. One of the more recent changes is the digital download of software.
I speak from personal experience. Even with my humble ADSL line I have virtually completely moved to digital download of games. Two obvious examples are Sony (multi gigabyte games such as Planetside can be downloaded) and Valve and their Steam system (with huge hits such as Half Life and Counter Strike and now a plethora of 3rd party titles available for digital download). Another very successful site is http://www.direct2drive.com/.
Interestingly enough - just for gaming I have easily listed OTTOMH 3 sites I visit to download software. 3 .... I would prefer one.
Hey presto - along comes the beta of Microsoft Digital Locker http://www.windowsmarketplacelabs.com/. The Digital Locker is designed to offer secure online buying and offer consumers a single source for storing personal information, including purchase history and licenses (yey - no more searching for CDs!). This is especially interesting as Windows Vista will include support for the Digital Locker.
At the moment ISVs can not advertise their software direct through Digital Locker - but instead we are working with libraries such as Digital River, eSellerate, Handango and Kagi.
Worth a visit. Worth a think....