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by Mike Zazaian October 31, 2006 - 12:18pm, 1 Comment

Packaging for Windows Vista Home Basic and Microsoft Office 2007 Professional

Microsoft unveiled the packaging for Windows Vista and Office 2007 today, replacing flimsy cardboard of the past with sleek, bulletproof plastic.

The announcement came, as Microsoft has strangely been inclined to do over the past months, on the Windows Vista Team Blog. The new boxes have a hard plastic shell, allowing users to keep them on the shelf for years without being marred or ripped. From the 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.

This is actually an important step forward for Microsoft, who hasn’t always been the leader of innovation in the software field. With Microsoft making this move toward durable packaging, perhaps others will recognize the benefits thereof and actually give software packaging some substantial presence in the future. The move is not only good for consumers, who may need to check documentation several times after an install, but for Microsoft, who will have their logo and presence more willingly displayed in homes now that their product’s packaging is more presentable.

Cardboard boxes have limited use and appeal, and just can’t hold the same place on a bookshelf that a hard plastic case can. The thing that’s so strange about the phenomenon is that a lack of quality packaging is a problem specific to computer software. It would be unheard of for DVDs and CDs to be sold with cardboard cases — constant handling would render the box useless after a couple months or so. With the move away from flimsy cardboard Microsoft is effectively saying that they care enough about their software to help the consumer use it like any other piece of media. It may seem like a really small issue, but it really says a lot about Microsoft’s attitude toward Vista and the kind of change it should bring to consumers.

Check out the Windows Vista Team Blog
Via engadget

Packaging for Windows Vista Home Basic
Packaging for Microsoft Office 2007 Professional