Where To Get A 64 bit Version Of Windows
If you already use Windows Vista and are considering making the switch to 64 bits, you may find yourself wondering whether you'll have to buy another software license. Users that bought Windows Vista Ultimate need not worry, since the installation disc contains both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of the OS. For all other versions, you can order 64 bit installation discs directly from Microsoft; you'll have to pay only a nominal fee for shipping and handling. Beware, though, that this offer only applies to full retail versions of Vista.
If you are using an OEM version that came pre-installed on your computer, you are not eligible for this offer, and won't be able to order the installation discs. The same goes for system builder versions (DSP/SB).
|Ordering Vista Installation Media|
|Windows Vista Version||Price||Way to Order|
|Ultimate Full Version||$591||32 bit and 64 bit versionsincluded in the box|
|Ultimate OEM||$256||No UpgradeSupported by PC Vendor|
|Business Full Version||$394||Upgrade Possible|
|Business OEM||$177||No UpgradeSupported by PC Vendor|
|Home Premium Full Version||$374||Upgrade Possible|
|Home Premium OEM||$138||No UpgradeSupported by PC Vendor|
|Home Basic Full Version||$315||Upgrade Possible|
|Home Basic OEM||$108||No UpgradeSupported by PC Vendor|
As you can see, while owners if a full version won't have any trouble getting an upgrade, those with an OEM or a system builder edition are left out in the cold. Your only option in this case is calling your PC vendor's support hotline. If that falls through as well, then you'll have to buy a new software license after all.
By the way, you won't need a new product key to order a 64 bit upgrade. The one that came with your original copy will work for both the 64 bit and the 32 bit versions.