by Shane O'Neill

Windows 7 Family Pack: How Much Would You Like to Pay?

Jul 06, 20093 mins
Data Center

Microsoft's reported three-license Windows 7 "Family Pack" could suffer from price comparisons to Apple's Snow Leopard.

It’s still not fully confirmed by Microsoft, but reports point to the availability of a “Family Pack” multi-license for Windows 7.

Two bloggers, Kristan Kenney and ZDNet’s Ed Bott late last week pointed out some details in the EULA (end-user licensing agreement) of a leaked post-Release Candidate build of Windows 7.

Windows 7 Bible: Your Complete Guide to the Next Version of Windows

The agreement for retail copies of Windows 7 Home Premium contains this little nugget of information:

“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.”

No word from Microsoft yet about pricing, or what it means to be “qualified family pack user.” The company hasn’t even confirmed that the Windows 7 Family Pack is for real. But if it is, besides being a nice deal for families with a few computers in the house, it could also be good PR for Microsoft against Apple, if the price is right.

Users have long praised Apple’s five-license Family Pack for its Mac OS X, which in the past has cost $199 for up to five Macs in a single household. Last month, Apple said it will price the upcoming Snow Leopard five-license pack at a mere $49.99.

Add to this Apple’s announcement that the upgrade charge for a single-user license for “Snow Leopard” will be $29 ($20 less than Microsoft’s two-week pre-order deal for Windows 7 Home Premium) and Apple is cleverly making Microsoft look like the pricey company. Talk a about a role reversal!

Microsoft’s most recent stab at a “Family Discount” was a two-license Family Pack for Vista Home Premium for $159 lasting six months in 2007. That deal allowed anyone with a Vista Ultimate license (the most expensive version) to purchase two Vista Home Premium upgrades for $49.99 each.

Given Apple’s price reductions for its upcoming Snow Leopard and the OS pricing duel that’s been going on between the two rivals, Microsoft will likely price its Windows 7 “Family Pack” aggressively. Blogger Ed Bott predicts that Microsoft will price the Family Pack at $189, $10 less than Apple’s traditional $199 Family Pack price tag.

But then Apple went ahead and dropped that family pack price to $49.99 for Snow Leopard. Will this force Microsoft to get even more aggressive with its so-called Windows 7 Family Pack? How low will Redmond go?

Let me know what price you’d like to see for a three-license Windows 7 pack?

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