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Summary:

When Microsoft announced the pricing of Windows 7, it created a fair bit of commentary here and elsewhere. Debate raged on the prices being high, low or just right, but one common thread was found. There were several comments requesting a family pack of licenses, and […]

windows-7-logoWhen Microsoft announced the pricing of Windows 7, it created a fair bit of commentary here and elsewhere. Debate raged on the prices being high, low or just right, but one common thread was found. There were several comments requesting a family pack of licenses, and I don’t recall seeing any dissenters to that opinion.

ZDNet’s Ed Bott eye-spied some legalese in the latest Windows 7 licensing agreement that leads him to believe Microsoft will indeed offer a family pack for the operating system. Ed found this tidbit in the Windows 7 Home Premium version:

“If you are a ‘Qualified Family Pack User’, you may install one copy of the software marked as ‘Family Pack’ on three computers in your household for use by people who reside there.”

If this comes to pass, I think it’s a good move. It’s not uncommon for households to have more than one computer these days. Some folks (*looks in mirror with guilt*) own several devices by themselves. The “family pack” idea isn’t new to Microsoft, either. In the past, it’s offered its Home and Student Office editions that support a similar approach: One discounted price covers three individual licenses.

Ed asks a great question, so I’d like to reiterate it here: If Microsoft does offer a three-license family pack for Windows 7 Home Premium, what kind of price would you expect? Ed’s betting on $189, which I think would be reasonable.

  1. From memory, MS did something similar as a limited time, US-only offer when Vista was released. I think you got 3 Home Premium licenses with a copy of Ultimate or something like that.

    Although I can understand why they don’t, I wish they’d offer this sort of deal for 7 Pro users – mainly because that’s the minimum version that I could get away with and I too have one two many devices that will need to be upgraded :) I’m kind of selfish that way but Home Premium isn’t enough for me.

    Anyway, lets hope this turns out to be a standard, reasonably priced deal and that it’s available worldwide.

    BTW, in addition to the Office licensing that you mentioned above, all other versions of Office are licensed for installation on a PC and a laptop. If MS licensed Windows in the same way (maybe limit it to the Professional edition) then they’d solve most people’s multi-PC upgrade issues and put an end to any complaints related to pricing.

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  2. I would love to know the pricing because I got an offer from MS to pre-buy 7 Home Premium for $49. If it were $189 for a family license, I’d still be better off purchasing a couple copies now. The price for the Professional version is $99 through this offer.

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  3. 189$ for 3 licences would be pretty good, but still expensive for me. I now have a desktop running Windows 7 Beta (yeah, I know, gotta update this weekend), girlfriend’s MSI wind with licenced XP, plus this work laptop which is out of the question.

    I plan on buying a laptop for myself. I could get one without Windows and wait for this offer (use RC and Ubuntu meanwile), but then again I could just pay the extra ~50$ for (possibly upgradeable) Vista on the laptop and just let the others with XP and/or Linux.

    Or maybe they can make another super-offer here in Romania, like they did with Office 2007 home and student, which they basically gave away: 3 licences = ~ 50$. It was actually my first bought retail software ever :D

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  4. Three license of 189$??? Just if they will be Ultimate. I don’t need three pcs that are not able to enter in a domain.

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  5. It’s about time microsoft did this. It was costly and inconvenient to get so many copies of XP outfitted for my several home computers. I have some Macs too, and they benefited from the family pack licensing which I got through a special deal for $50 for 5 licenses.

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