Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Windows 7 Family Pack: Multiple Installs

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Microsoft revealed Friday that the Windows 7 Family Pack will cost $149.99, and also unveiled pricing for the company’s Windows 7 Anytime Upgrades program. In addition, Microsoft clarified plans to reward its core of technical beta testers with a final release version of Windows 7.

The Family Pack, which was announced in late July, will let users install Windows 7 Home Premium on three different PCs, making the cost for each copy roughly $50. Windows 7 Home Premium normally lists for $119.99.

“That’s a savings of more than $200 for three licenses,” Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc said on the Windows 7 team blog.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows Anytime Upgrades (WAU) program will enable a user with one version of Windows 7 to upgrade to a different edition of the new operating system at lower prices than standard upgrades cost.

“While we know a majority of our customers will purchase their preferred SKU [stock keeping unit, a retail term] preinstalled on their PC, we do recognize there are scenarios where users may want to quickly and easily upgrade to a different version of Windows 7 so we are offering WAU for those customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail.

One scenario might be a consumer who purchased a netbook with Windows 7 Starter Edition installed, but later wanted to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.

The Windows 7 consumer would pay $79.99 for the upgrade — the same price as it would cost to purchase an Anytime Upgrade from Windows Vista Home Basic to Vista Home Premium — as opposed to the $119 it would normally cost to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7.

While the number of scenarios in which a consumer will want to make such a move is limited, according to the Windows 7 blog post, Microsoft has had the Anytime Upgrade program for several years for those customers that do want to upgrade from one edition to another.

Other Anytime Upgrade prices include $89.99 to upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional, and $139.99 to upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate.

Rewarding Windows 7 testers

Also, Microsoft Thursday relented and announced that “technical beta testers” of Windows 7 — a select group of testers who provided significant feedback to the Windows development team during the beta test cycle — will receive free copies of the final released code after all.

A week earlier LeBlanc said on the Windows 7 team blog that the company had no explicit plans to reward the technical beta testers, other than those who were subscribers to the Microsoft TechNet and MSDN online services.

“To show our appreciation, members of the invitation-only Windows 7 Technical Beta Program will be eligible for a free, final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate” LeBlanc said in the posting.

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