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Should I get the download or boxed version of a product?

I know it’s dearer, but the boxed version of Windows 8 Pro… is it a better
buy than the downloaded version? If so, please explain or is it simply a case
of having it your hand?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #69
, I look at downloading Windows 8 as compared to buying the
boxed version.

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Boxed or downloaded Windows 8?

To answer it simply, “It’s simply a case of having it in your hand.”

The two products should be identical. My recommendation (expectation) would
be as long as you immediately back up the product that you download and save
it somewhere safe, so that you effectively have a physical copy of it –
downloading should be just fine.

It’s my expectation that downloading it is exactly the same product as one
that you would get in the box. The difference simply being that you’re getting
a pre-burned CD or DVD that includes the operating system and a pretty box to
put it in.

Downloading Windows 8 is fine

If you don’t need either of those things, then the download version should be
just fine.

It’s cheaper because they don’t have to make a box for it.

It’s not viable for everyone. It’s fairly large so it’s going to take a bit
of time to download. Not everybody has an internet connection for which
downloading a couple of gigabytes is even viable.

So, those are the reasons that those two products exist that way. But
ultimately, they should be the same product. If you download the digital version
(and this is true for any product that you download, that you purchase and
download), you should always save what it is you download – before you use it to
install.

Save a copy of it somewhere, burn it to a CD, burn it to a DVD, back it up, do
whatever – so that if you should ever need to install it again, you’ll have it
without needing to re-download it – if indeed you’re even allowed.

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4 comments on “Should I get the download or boxed version of a product?”

  1. Leo, Unfortunately Windows 8 upgrade Assistant is not allowing anybody to save the ISO file. What they are doing is actually an IN-PLACE upgrade for $40. If you want the ISO file, then they are charging you an additional $15 so that you can download the file. I feel that this is a crime, and cannot believe that we have come to this point where Microsoft is trying to shove a one-time Install of Windows 8 down your throat and erasing your existing Operating System. I have heard from Microsoft Employees that you are not allowed to run the new Windows 8 alongside your Windows 7 Installation after performing this in-place upgrade. Well – I have decided to download the ISO and make my own virtual machine, it actually wasn’t even hard to find an active KMS server to activate it either. Sorry, Microsoft I was going to pay for the Upgrade, but by charging extra for the ISO, you lost another customer/.

    Reply
  2. @James
    I didn’t have that experience. I was able to download both the 32 and 64 bit iso versions, and was able to create a bootable Win 8 installation USB, all for the same $40. I believe the extra $15 is for the boxed version (a physical DVD).

    Reply
  3. It used to be that boxed versions came with a printed manual. Nowadays, the boxed version is likely to be a CD/DVD, a small “getting started” pamphlet, and air, I agree that the download version is probably ust as good as the boxed version. Plus, you get it “now”, rather than waiting for it to be shipped, which is a big plus at times.

    Note that there are some companies that include a download version along with the boxed version, so that you can get it “now”, eliminating that advantage. In such cases, I will usually buy the boxed version (if it’s not much more — some actually come at the same price), just because it “feels better” to have a “real” disk in my collection.

    Reply
  4. Any one has any idea from where I can buy complete Windows 8 , not an upgrade version , or if there is any way to use the upgrade version for bare metal installation?

    Reply

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