Well here it is… Microsoft Opens their online store officially… you can check it out here
Is this the end of packaged software? I think it might make a slight dent in some ways, but in other way not. There was no Canadian site, but I compared Vista Ultimate SP1 Full @ 319.00 USD to Futureshop where it was 329 CDN. Considering you dont get a CD with the download option I would rather just order it from Futureshop. With exchange rate these days you are paying much more for the download ( instant shopper gratification i guess ) For another comparison, Gears of War Special Edition is 69.99 at Futureshop, but on Microsoft’s Online Store it is 69.99 USD also, and this one is strictly a shipping item… so yeah Microsoft opened the floodgate for lazy tech’s who would rather order software, download, and use it immediately. One more thing to note is that they make the download available to you till the software reached end-of-life, I would just download and burn it anyways.
The Online store also sells peripherals like XBox 360’s, controllers, and mice/keyboards.
So basically Microsoft is competing in the retail space, allowing Value Added Resellers to compete for sales in SMB and Enterprise spaces.