Microsoft sets pointless 25-PC upgrade limit for Windows 7

Microsoft sets pointless 25-PC upgrade limit for Windows 7

Summary: 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.

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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.]  

Topics: Software, CXO, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

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36 comments
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  • Come on Adrian: Yet again another W7 limitation?

    Well that is what it looks like. There's the word right at the top of the page in the title of this story even.

    Can't wiggle out of this one Windows Folks.

    Of course, I will make the obligatory reference to the fact that there are no such license limitations for the use of Linux Distros whatsoever.

    May I recommend please, try Ubuntu 9.04 before you embark into an upgrade to W7, which is looking more complicated by the day.

    Thanks Adrian.

    And thanks Microsoft for helping all the more with making Ubuntu 9.04 an easy choice: no limitations.

    Dietrich T. Schmitz
    Dietrich T. Schmitz
    • No limitations

      well, except for the Operating System itself.

      I can see why they need to give it away fro free...
      GuidingLight
      • LOL

        Yeah... they give Ubuntu away for free, and people still prefer to pirate Windows.
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • re: LOL

          That says more about their up bringing than Ubuntu.

          9 time out of 10 folks how will steal will lie. Ask them if what they stole was worth it, the answer will be yeah.

          ^o^
          <br>
          n0neXn0ne
          • where did you get that statistic?

            Are you one of the ones that lie and steal, or are
            you just THAT self righteous?
            shadfurman
      • I believe you're a little confused

        XP is being given away for free.

        But Linux is free right from conception. Free is in it's DNA.
        InAction Man
        • InactionMan

          Free doesn't always mean better... It's all in the user.
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion
          • Agree!

            But trust me, if all OSs had a price and Linux was the most expensive it would still be my first choice, by far.
            InAction Man
          • Thats why choice is good

            Not every OS is good for Everyone. If someone chooses Ubuntu (for example) for their home desktop who am I to stop them. Or even some other OS like MacOS. But when they come to me and want me to install Windows legally or illegally I do reserve the right to say I told you so.
            bobiroc
          • With me it's the other way around

            When friends come to me and want me to install Windows legally or illegally I do reserve the right to say:

            "Want Ubuntu? I'm most glad to help you."

            "Windows? I don't do windows"
            InAction Man
          • Choice is good only if you have full unencumbered access to it

            Unfortunately, with Windows, it is not FULL, but a limited set of choices.

            Whereas with Linux, you have FULL unencumbered choice to do what you want with it.

            Thank you very much.
            Dietrich T. Schmitz
          • RE: Choice is good only if you have full unencumbered access to it

            So you think Linux in its many confusing flavors is better than the few choices Windows gives consumers that pretty much lay out what each version is for.

            Home Basic - Home Version Basic Features
            Home Premium - Home Version Premium Features
            Professional - Home/Business version professional features
            Ultimate/Enterprise - Ultimate and Enterprise Features

            Yeah that is so much more confusing than Ubuntu, Red Hat, KDE, etc..

            Sorry you say linux has no limitations but I would think consumers want an OS that will be able to run all the software they can buy off the shelf or download off the internet and not just have to choose from a handful of imitation open sourced apps. Maybe that is why Linux is going nowhere and couldn't even survive on the netbook market.
            bobiroc
          • Re: With Me its the other way around

            Wow, glad I am not your friend. At least I am open to using alternative OSes and I use Windows daily and MacOS frequently and Linux on some servers and some low end/older computer in my environement when the need calls for it. I think I outlined that before how I use Ubuntu to leverage some 12 year old Dell laptops for our Special Services Education and we even tried having 1 entire lab of Ubuntu in each of my schools but that was changed back at the request of our Staff and Students because they had severe limitations to access programs and stuff on the network. I have even used Ubuntu on some of my Family's computers and for side job clients that have minimal income and minimal computing needs usually using older hardware but since most people can get complete Windows PC for about $400 to suit those minimal needs most choose the windows route because it just works and it is what they are used to and prefer. So basically you are just like any other Fanboy out there and have some personal vendetta against Microsoft and cannot come up with any concrete reasons why not to use Windows. Every computer that comes to me with an infection or security/malware problem can be proven to be the users fault. With Free Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware applications and windows having a good firewall (and most routers having a firewall) the disregard for security falls on the user. These are the same people that will use some P2P program to download their music to get infected or click on some phishing link in an email because they believe that they are going to get millions of dollars from some African Prince.
            bobiroc
          • Actually, "bobiroc,"

            people can run about any Windows app they want under Linux in addition to all the apps created for Linux. Microsoft is too paranoid about losing money to allow users to run Linux apps on Windows. Of course, users can get around that paranoia by running Linux apps in a virtual box, window, or machine under MS Windows...which, of course, they also can do in Linux.
            Isocrates
          • RE

            [i]Microsoft is too paranoid about losing money to allow users to run Linux apps on Windows...[/i]

            Because more programs running on Windows will mean less money for Microsoft.

            Wait, wut?

            Wine is not a part of 'Linux' per se, it's an implementation of the Win32 API on Linux. (Note the ports to Mac OS X and Windows itself.) Wine is also not distributed with any major distro AFAIK.

            As such, not being able to run Linux apps isn't so much a limitation of Windows as the fact that no-one has come around and written a Linux API for Windows thingymajig. I do remember a LINE, but that was long ago and abandoned quickly.
            MarkKB
      • Ah, but you're wrong, GuidingLight

        [i]I can see why they need to give it away fro free...[/i]

        They CAN'T even give it away. How else do you explain a 1% desktop market share? Maybe they should pay people to install it. :p
        canyouhearmenow2
  • Why not ask them?

    Find out why this limit is set. Maybe it is to ensure that the licenses will not be resold for machines not eligable?

    I do not know myself, but someone with more connections in the industry should find out.

    Though according to another blog here:

    [i]?Like prior tech guarantee programs, the Windows 7 Upgrade Option is designed for consumers and small business. That said, we?re providing more choice for customers with Windows 7 than we did before. Past iterations of the tech guarantee program, for example, limited the number of free upgrades requests to five for customers buying Windows pre-installed on a new PC. With Windows 7 Windows Upgrade Option for new PCs, Microsoft has increased that limit by five times, to 25 upgrades.

    ?Many larger businesses already have Software Assurance agreements that provide them with upgrades to Windows 7 Enterprise and if they don?t already they can purchase Software Assurance for new PCs to qualify for an upgrade. Larger businesses also have more flexibility on when they make PC purchases[/i]

    It did not seem that a 5 PC limit was a problem in the past, why would 25 limit be worse?

    We must find out.
    GuidingLight
    • 25 is too much.

      0 (zero) would be a much better proposition if you ask me.

      The less windoze copies we have the better for everyone. Lots of suffering would be spared.
      InAction Man
  • The reason of 25 limit...

    because there is a thing called KMS server activation service.

    In enterprise setting, KMS server activation service runs on local server in order to activate workstations and it has a miminum limit of 25 machines.

    There is a management ups and downs about KMS activation... the benefit of KMS is that you can just use 1 key for all the workstations deployment. All Workstations just need to contact the local KMS server instead of Microsoft so the deployment would be faster...

    The downside, of course, is you have to setup at least 25 machines initially in order to kick in the KMS. Not to mention all those workstations are required to contact the KMS server after certain period of time. Oh, the KMS server itself also contact MS's mothership, I think, after 180 days.

    Therefore, the 25 machines limit is not some random number. Obviously, MS wants you to get into the Volume Licensing.
    Samic
    • Thank you

      for some useful information.
      rlorenz