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mwave.com lists several editions of Windows Vista as in stock and ready to ship

Although the official launch of Windows Vista won't take place until January 30, that hasn't stopped some online retailers from making the operating system available early. mwave.com is listing three Vista SKUs on its website that are in stock and ready to ship.

The editions available include Vista 32-bit Home Basic OEM (Microsoft Part Number: 66G-00576) for $89.90, Vista 32-bit Home Basic OEM 3-pack (Microsoft Part Number: 66G-00613) for $268.90 and Vista 32-bit Business OEM (Microsoft Part Number: 66J-02289) for $139.90. As of today, there were no listings for Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate on the site.

Vista Home Basic, as its name implies, is the most barebones version of the operating system. It lacks the Windows Aero "Glass" UI, Windows Flip 3D and Live Taskbar Thumbnails. Vista Home Basic also only supports one physical processor (unlimited cores) while the other consumer editions of Vista support two physical processors (unlimited cores).

Vista Business, on the other hand, contains features not found on either Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Premium. These include support for Windows Shadow Copy, system image backup and recovery, Encrypting File System (EFS), the ability to join domains and access offline file/folder support.

The OEM versions of Vista listed on mwave.com's website are significantly cheaper than the retail pricing for Vista listed below:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic, $199/$99.95
  • Windows Vista Home Premium, $239/$159
  • Windows Vista Business, $299/$199
  • Windows Vista Ultimate, $399/$259

Customers are limited to two copies of Vista Home Basic OEM or Vista Business OEM on mwave.com's website. The operating systems must also be purchased with hardware for licensing reasons. In many cases, ordering a set of case screws or some other cheap piece of hardware will satisfy these requirements.

Updated 1/23/2006: NewEgg shows Vista Home Premium OEM in stock for $119.99. They also show Vista Ultimate OEM in stock for $199.

For images of the retail version of Vista Home Premium unboxed, you can check out Engadget's image gallery.






"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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