Microsoft has launched an online store in the UK that allows customers to purchase products directly from the company.

The site offers a range of products such as Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007, Works and Expression available to download, but full delivery of packaged products, including hardware, and stores going live in other countries, is planned for the coming months.

"Customers are now demanding a higher level of online interaction prior to purchase", said Alex Reeve, business group director at Microsoft UK. "Microsoft Store is a new addition to the existing channels already provided giving consumers ultimate choice."

The site does not appear to work fully for those using the Microsoft Internet Explorer-rivaling Firefox browser.

The downloads do not appear to be particularly competitively priced, with Windows Vista Home Premium costing £169.99 to download from the Microsoft Store, for example, while charges only £132.45.