History has a way of repeating itself. Back in August 2006, Amazon Canada inadvertently published the price list for Windows Vista before it had been officially announced. In a distribution channel the size of Microsoft's, leaks are bound to happen.
Now, thanks to some similarly careless online retailers, I've found details confirming both the availability and price of the Windows 7 Family Pack and three Anytime Upgrade products for Windows 7. As I reported last week, Microsoft is apparently planning to release a Family Pack that will include three Windows 7 Home Premium licenses for a discounted price. I reported details of the Anytime Upgrade program back in April but noted that prices were still missing.
My colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is reflexively skeptical about my report of a Windows 7 Family Pack. In fact, he says, his "OEM contacts" are unaware of any such product and one "source that has been reliable in the past" tells him the language referring to that product has been pulled from the license agreement. Fortunately, some of Adrian's commenters have better sources than he does. One points to a product code, GFC-00236, that produces some very interesting search results.
Like a set of product listings from Expercom that includes a WINDOWS 7 FAMILY PACK/ HOME PREMIUM UPGRADE (GFC-00236) with a listed price of $136.95.
Another reseller, University IT Computer Sales, briefly had the same product and code listed on its website at $144.95. It's been pulled from the live site, but lives on in the Google cache.
Both companies are reliable, if small, resellers, and one detail that makes the leak even more convincing is the UPC code attached to the University IT listing. A search of the UPC Database doesn't turn up details for 882224898249 yet, but that prefix (88224) belongs to Microsoft.
Even more intriguing to me are a handful of extra listings in the Expercom catalog, which finally attach prices to the Windows Anytime Upgrade product line:
- UPG WINDOWS ANYTIME/W7 STARTER TO HOME PREMIUM UPGRADE Microsoft - Model 4WC-00040 $81.95
- UPG WINDOWS ANYTIME/W7 HOME PREMIUM TO PROFESSIONAL UPGRADE Microsoft - Model 7KC-00040 $90.95
- UPG WINDOWS ANYTIME/W7 HOME PRE TO ULTIMATE UPGRADE Microsoft - Model 39C-00040 $137.95
All of those prices seem thoroughly credible to me. Curiously, the one price missing is for Windows 7 Professional to Windows 7 Ultimate, which I expect to cost between $20 and $30.
The Home Premium to Professional Anytime Upgrade product is also in the catalog at PC Nation for $92.55 and at PC Mall for $99.99. PC Mall also has the Starter-to-Home Premium Anytime Upgrade and the Home Premium-to-Ultimate package for $89.99 and $153.99, respectively. The PC Nation prices are $83.72 and $142.30, respectively.
Until Microsoft makes an official announcement, of course, all this is indeed speculation. But mythical products don't usually get UPC codes and official Microsoft part numbers, nor do they make it into the license agreements in software that is literally days away from shipping. If the Family Pack prices shown above are accurate, this will be yet another of the "very aggressive" pricing offers Microsoft promised earlier this year.