In some ways this a good thing, as managing physical media can get a little difficult - who hasn't wasted time trying to find the disk you need - especially if you've got behind on filing them away. Downloadable media should help you get what you need faster. Physical media will still be available to order (at a cost)
More details direct from Microsoft :
The partner community provided us with feedback to improve access and management of software benefits—we listened. We’re pleased to announce that you can now digitally access your software benefits from one, central location at any time. The advantages of the Microsoft Partner Program digital distribution solution: By directly downloading your internal-use software, you can gain access to software and updates the moment they’re made available—no need to wait for your Microsoft Action Pack Subscription or Microsoft Gold Certified or Certified Partner box shipment. Benefits include:
- Faster and more flexible: Access software immediately—24x7 availability.
- Greater visibility: View all of your software benefits summarized in a license statement.*
- Improved software benefits management: Add or remove users and manage their access to downloads, keys, and a license statement.
- Decreased environmental impact: Help reduce the amount of waste from manufacturing, shipping, and disposing of disk kits.
*Available August, 2009.
- At launch, you’ll be defaulted to receive Digital-Only software distribution or Digital-Plus-Physical software distribution, depending on your location.* View the frequently asked questions for details.
- If you’re defaulted to receive Digital-Only software distribution, you can always order physical media (software discs)—additional fees may apply. Visit your local Microsoft Partner Program portal for information on fees and expenses.
- If you’re defaulted to receive Digital-Plus-Physical software distribution, you must wait until re-enrollment to change to Digital-Only.
- Software benefits will always be available digitally, even when you’re receiving physical media.
- Access to software keys and license statement will only be available digitally, even when you’re receiving physical media.
- Marketing and sales resources are available online—in a few weeks, you’ll receive a communication to access these resources.
- Microsoft Gold Certified and Certified Partners will still be shipped Microsoft Partner Program plaques and certificates as appropriate.
*Certain locations will receive physical media (software discs) due to digital accessibility issues.
From this link, you can access your software benefits today. You can use a step-by-step instruction guide for assistance. How to order physical media and when you can make changes:If you aren’t automatically receiving physical media for your location, you can order it at any time—additional fees may apply. You’ll still have digital access to your software benefits.
For more information:
Check here for the latest details specific to your location and to review frequently asked questions. If you need support, please contact your local Regional Service Center.
Keira McIntosh is the General Manager at Directions Technology - an Australia owned small business providing managed and reliable IT Support in Brisbane. You can also find her on Twitter and Linked In.