Microsoft sets pointless 25-PC upgrade limit for Windows 7

It never fails to amaze me how Microsoft can make things far more complex for the end user than it needs to be. Take the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Option that was announced last Friday where you can buy a PC now and upgrade it to Windows 7 when the OS comes out. This is great for the home user, but it leaves small businesses and organizations out in the cold.

It never fails to amaze me how Microsoft can make things far more complex for the end user than it needs to be. Take the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Option that was announced last Friday where you can buy a PC now and upgrade it to Windows 7 when the OS comes out. This is great for the home user, but it leaves small businesses and organizations out in the cold.

The reason is an arbitrary limit set by Microsoft which sets a 25-PC limit on upgrades. If you have more than 25 PCs to upgrade, then you are pushed into volume licensing. Microsoft didn't make this clear last Friday, but left it to OEMs to pass on the message to consumers.

HP:

You may order one upgrade kit for each eligible computer. However, if you are a computer administrator ordering on behalf of your company or organization, you may order a maximum of 25 Windows 7 Upgrade Kits for 25 eligible computers purchased during the eligibility period. If you need more than 25 upgrade kits, contact Microsoft about a volume license. For more information, go to www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userrights for Microsoft volume licensing.

Dell:

Is there a limit on the number of tags I can order?

Yes. Only one Dell Windows® 7 Upgrade kit is allowed per service tag. In addition, the number of Dell Windows 7 Upgrade kits allowed to any one customer is capped at 25 per physical address. Customers with more than 25 PCs are encouraged to pursue Volume Licensing.

Sorry, but I don't get why this limit exists. Why does the upgrade process need to have the number of upgrades capped at 25, especially during these troubled financial times.

Note: When Vista was released Microsoft actually set the upgrade cap at 5, so this could be seen as a better deal ... of sorts ...

I can't understand what's wrong with "one eligible PC, one upgrade," which seems to me like the simplest way to handle things. Personally, if I were looking at buying 25+ systems, I'd let my dollars do the talking and only give my money to an OEM in return for an assurance that I'd get hassle-free upgrades. After all, it's the OEMs that manage the upgrade scheme.

Microsoft has a good product in Windows 7, but seems set on fumbling the launch, first by setting upgrade prices too high, and now with this arbitrary limit of upgrades.

[UPDATE: A Microsoft spokesperson just got in touch with me to remind me that the upgrade limit applies only to consumers and small businesses. Well, that's my point exactly. While there aren't going to be many consumers buying 25+ systems, it's entirely possible that small businesses or small organizations might, and this limit gets in their way. This is why I find the limit to be arbitrary and pointless.]  

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