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:
If you had Software Assurance on your Windows licenses, you would receive:
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.
------------------------------------------------------------------------- UPDATE: 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,
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
What exactly do you mean by: "You 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"...?
I already purchase 5 Small Business Desktop products last month, am I elligible to choose which Windows Vista Edition I want if they come out later?
If I already choose Windows Vista Business, and I wish to upgrade it into Windows Vista Enterprise or Ultimate, can I do that?
What about downgrade option? From Windows Vista Ultimate to Business for example?
Our small company have 5 computers only running Celeron 2.0GHz, would it best to use Windows Vista Enterprise/Ultimate? Or I should choose Business because it's less heavier than those two?
In response to your questions:
Customers with the Small Business Desktop Advantage (SBDA) have the Windows XP Professional Upgrade + 3 years of Software Assurance, which includes upgrade protection. So, when Windows Vista is released, the SBDA license would provide them with the upgrade to Windows Vista Business with Software Assurance. Customers with Software Assurance on their desktop Operating System licenses are eligible to install Windows Vista Enterprise as a Software Assurance benefit. As such, your SBDA customers have this right. In addition, they could choose to install Windows Vista Ultimate instead of Windows Vista Business or Enterprise if they choose because that is also a benefit of having Software Assurance on the desktop Operating System.
So, yes, your customers with SBDA licenses for their company can choose to upgrade to Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, or Windows Vista Ultimate when it is released as a benefit of the SBDA license. They can upgrade at anytime they choose and do not need to upgrade all PCs at one time. They can do it on their schedule as they see fit.
Also, the SBDA has full downgrade rights, so they could choose to upgrade to any prior version instead if they wish.
If you are a Small Business Specialist, I discussed this exact topic this morning on the Small Business Desktop Advantage Sales Forum call (takes place every Thursday morning). You can view the replay by going to the SBSC rebate page (https://partner.microsoft.com/us/40032671), clicking the EXCLUSIVE Small Business Desktop Sales Forums button in the upper right-hand corner of the page and choosing today's (October 26th) session to view.
Thanks for the info! I want to confirm something regarding Software Assurance. I have a volume licensing agreement (including SA) through MS's eOpen program for XP Professional. As such, I received rights to install Vista along with a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). My question is: am I able to use this key to install Vista Ultimate, or only Vista Business & Vista Enterprise? On my Volume License download page, I have download links available for Enterprise and Business but Ultimate is no where to be found. According to your article, I should be able to install Ultimate as per my SA agreement. Can you confirm this? When/if do you expect Ultimate edition to become available on the Volume License download page?
Thanks in advance!
Yes, having Software Assurance for your Windows Desktop O/S license does provide you with the rights to run Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, or Windows Vista Ultimate. Since Windows Vista Ultimate is a consumer product; whereas, Windows Vista Business and Enterprise are business products, Windows Vista Ultimate will not be available via download, only via physical media. As such, you will be able to use Windows Vista Ultimate once the physical media is available, which we expect to be in January 2007. As you mentioned, you do have access to download either Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Enterprise from the Volume Licensing websites because of your Software Assurance rights.