I remember going through something like this with Visual Studio 2005 but back then I've swallowed my pride and called my local "pusher" and got the VS2005 old fashioned way. Now, 3 years later, I want to buy Visual Studio 2008. Let's see how this goes...
Note: I live outside of USA and any other "major market" for that matter
Upgrading through the Trial
I've download and installed Visual Studio 2008 Professional 90-day Trial. Now I go to Help->About and see the "Upgrade..." button. Hooray!
When I click it my browser opens a page saying "Content not found".
How crazy is that!? This is a current product by a MAJOR corporation so how could something like this happen?
OK, let's swallow some pride again and go through the product page. Closest to the words "buy" or "purchase" is Pricing - let's go there. First link there is Worldwide Purchase Information. Hooray again. When I go there I see information about buying an MSDN Subscription but I only want a standalone VS2008 Standard or Professional. OK, there's a section:
Additional Purchasing Options
[Skeptical] hooray. So now we get to this page. Looks promising. I click "Buy or upgrade now" and get to Windows Marketplace page where all of the online merchants listed ship to USA and Canada only. And I would actually prefer a simple license key (which must be an option (see below)). Dead end again.
Now I remember that there was something about upgrading from Trial on the Trial download page. Here it is:
Upgrading from Trial Editions
When you are ready to upgrade from an installed trial edition of Visual Studio or Team Foundation Server (or the Workgroup Edition of Team Foundation Server), you don't have to completely uninstall and reinstall those products. For more information, see How to: Upgrade from Visual Studio Trial Edition (a Visual Studio 2005 topic, but still accurate).
The "how to" page has the following:
To obtain a product key
Purchase a copy of Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition at a retail location. The product key is listed on the sleeve of the DVD or CD.
Order a Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition product key online at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/howtobuy/. The product key is sent to you in an e-mail message.
Click on the http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/howtobuy/ - "Content Not Found"
Our local Microsoft website has a list of "old-school" companies who can order you a hard copy from the warehouse and you'll get it in couple of weeks or months (which was what I tried to avoid and was supposed to succeed).
I hope that someone at Microsoft reads this and at least fixes all the "not found" issues and specifies accurate information. At the very least tell me that there's no way for me to buy this online but don't make me waste half a day trying to find a correct way to navigate your website! Theoretically I wasted more time (equals money) looking for a way to make a simple transaction than the transaction is worth. Very frustrating.