Last week a huge amount was written regarding a small tidbit that was uncovered in the EULA of a leaked build of Windows 7 which suggested that Microsoft planned on offering a Windows 7 Home Premium "Family Pack". this Family Pack would allow a "Qualified Family Pack User" to install the OS on three PCs.
2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. a. One Copy per Computer. Except as allowed in Section 2 (b) below, you may install one copy of the software on one computer. That computer is the “licensed computer.”
b. Family Pack. 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. Those computers are the “licensed computers” and are subject to these license terms. If you do not know whether you are a Qualified Family Pack User, visit go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?Linkid=141399 or contact the Microsoft affiliate serving your country.
c. Licensed Computer. You may use the software on up to two processors on the licensed computer at one time. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, you may not use the software on any other computer.
d. Number of Users. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, only one user may use the software at a time.
e. Alternative Versions. The software may include more than one version, such as 32-bit and 64-bit. You may install and use only one version at one time.
This information upset people who had pre-ordered reduced cost copies of Windows 7 because such a deal would have worked out cheaper for them. But is there any substance to the "Family Pack" offer?
Here's what I've learned over the past few days:
- This language does indeed appear in the EULA of the latest leaked builds.
- Microsoft has no comment to make about any Family Pack at this time.
- None of my OEM contacts are aware of a Family Pack.
- None of my contacts in the distribution channels are aware of a Family Pack. Not so any more ... I'm now getting reports of an embargoed product that fits the bill.
- One source that has been reliable in the past claims that the "Family Pack" language has been removed from later builds of Windows 7.
I'm not going to call the "Family Pack" fiction, but I'd be very ware of drawing too many conclusions based on a single section of the EULA of a leaked build of Windows 7. The reason I'm wary is that I would expect to see some form of prohibition on using the OS in a commercial setting.
One thing I can tell you for sure is that anything you read regarding pricing or availability is nothing more than a guess.
[UPDATE: Over the past few days this rumor seems to have taken on substance and does indeed seem to be genuine. The word from distribution channel contacts is that Microsoft is eager to keep a lid on information pertaining to this Family Pack for now. I'm not sure why since this deal would have been great to have offered alongside the Windows 7 upgrade deals. I wish that it was a five-license pack rather than three, but it does show that Microsoft is indeed interested in cutting the home user that has multiple systems a break.]