Microsoft yesterday revealed the new product boxes for Windows Vista which would be considered a new age design that migrates from the traditional four edge squar box we have been using since the 80’s. The new boxes seem to be in a hard polycarbonated frame which aims to protect contents from both damage and theft which is today used by Windows XP when purchased through Retail channels. When I say theft, an unscrupolous individual cannot go into a store and simply open the case take the disk out and walk away.
According to Nick White of the Windows Vista Blog: "Designed to be user-friendly, the new packaging is a small, hard, plastic container that’s designed to protect the software inside for life-long use. It provides a convenient and attractive place for you to permanently store both discs and documentation.
The new design will provide the strength, dimensional stability and impact resistance required when packaging software today. Our plan is to extend this packaging style to other Microsoft products after the launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Office system."
Two of the new Windows product editions added to the Vista product line, Home Basic targets first time PC buyers, one PC homes and persons on a budget who want a secure, productive out of box experience. Windows Vista Ultimate is at the top of the pyramid and includes all the features from all the SKU’s including a set of services called Ultimate Extras available only to Vista Ultimate customers.
The two other editions that do not have retail product boxes are Windows Vista Enterprise and Starter Edition. Vista Enterprise will only be available to Volume License customers who have a Software Assurance or Enterprise Agreement (SA/EA). Starter Edition will be available in only in emerging markets such as Asia, Africa, Brazil and Mexico to name a few through OEM vendors on new PC’s. All Windows Vista retail should include both x86 and x64 platforms, with one product key, leaving the decision up to the user to choose which platform they want to install or depending on what instruction set their PC supports.
For the traditional SKU’s such as XP Home and Professional, Microsoft has remained very consistent with the Home Premium and Business Editions by retaining the familar Green and Blue themes. The two new retail SKU’s Home Basic and Ultimate are different, Basic blends with green and white shade while the Ultimate box uses a strong black tone with blue Aurora accents. Missing from the packages are slogans that tell us what Vista represents. XP’s slogan was "Experience the best of the digital decade", its possible because they want to deliver a very clean frontal view, this will be available at the back of the box, also the Microsoft Company log is at the bottom right hand instead of top right hand. People have noted incorrectly that the new design looks similar to Microsofts Office for Mac 2004 product boxes, the answer is simply, no. Also Office 2004 product boxes use a unique design its still different and retains more of the 4 edge look with equal sides. Its a strong theme that speaks elegance and simplicity, I must say, I love it. Good job Microsoft!