ARTICLES IN THE BOOK
A GUIDE TO WINDOWS VISTA
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Windows Anytime Upgrade (WAU) is an upgrade method offered by Microsoft for users who wish to upgrade their edition of Windows Vista by buying a license online. This will reduce the number of installation disks in circulation; all five editions of Vista will be included on one 2.5 GB DVD.
Microsoft's current marketing material states that all installation media will contain all the functionality of the highest SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) and that higher level functions will be disabled through winlogon.exe and pidgen.dll. This is what is currently used in differentiating between Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.
The benefit of WAU is that if one were to decide that they wanted Media Center, Aero, or Windows Fax and Scan out of their computer that has Vista Home Basic, they could complete the upgrade without needing to acquire a different installation disk. A major drawback is that such a technology is potentially highly exploitable, making it possible for users to switch to a higher SKU through a possible security hole without purchasing an upgrade.
Upgrading to another version of Windows Vista requires the purchase of a license online. One can then complete the process by downloading software that is required for the process and using the Anytime Upgrade utility in the Windows Vista.
Users are required to complete the upgrade by installing the proper files associated with the edition unlocked using one of several methods. The Windows Vista install media can be used so long as it's marked with the label "Includes Windows Anytime Upgrade". An OEM can also preload files onto the hard drive of a computer running Windows Vista. Finally, an OEM may include a separate Anytime Upgrade DVD along with the typical restore disk. If any of the above are not present, then a Windows Anytime Upgrade disc can be ordered by request during the upgrade process, for a nominal shipping and handling fee.
Microsoft's suggested pricing for upgrade is as follows: