Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Downloading Windows 8, or buying a box, should be the same product. The difference is having it physically in your hand.
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.
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.
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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