UPDATED x2: Windows 7 "Family Pack" ... Fact or fiction?

UPDATED x2: Windows 7 "Family Pack" ... Fact or fiction?

Summary: 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.


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.]

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, PCs

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  • Any Family Pack License would be "Retail" only

    Any "Family Pack" discount would apply to "retail" and not "OEM" versions of Windows 7. That is precisely why there would be no communication to OEM system builders about a "Family Pack" license.
    • Very good point on the OEM channel

      But it makes sense, OEM's sell single systems, with a single license.
  • If it is fiction

    That clause is certainly a mystery then.

    I'm hoping it's true. A family pack option has been missing from Microsoft for sometime now. Hopefully, they can also give it a reasonable price tag as well...
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • I think all consumer sold software ...

      ... should come in family packs. It would help to control piracy.
      P. Douglas
      • MS has already moved in this direction with office

        It sure seems like Windows would be the next logical step. And you're dead on about the piracy...
      • I agree with ya

        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Family pack limited to 3 computers...

    The Family Pack is indeed a great idea - only one problem with it as described! 3 Computers.

    Many families these days probably have more then 3 computers. The husband, the wife, kid a and at least kid b!

    A great idea for the family pack would be if Microsoft offered additional computers onto the license for lets say $35 a computer. That way you pay X amount for the 3 computer family pack - and if you had kid b or kid c, etc - each additional computer would only cost $35 per additional family member.

    They could even set it up so that the OS limited the number of user accounts to 1 (plus an admin). Yes this would not be cool for most users - but a single account limitation should not be any major issues when it comes to a kids computer!

    They could even do this with the Office suite and limit it to the home version.

    • Remember...

      I have at least five computers in my household, however, only [i]two[/i] are capable of running 7. Not every PC in the house can run it, and I think Microsoft is aware of that. 3 computers is a very reasonable number

      I like the $35 a pop though. I would definitely buy a family pack for that price...
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Time for an upgrade (or a few) perhaps? =)

        • Haha. I wish

          In a perfect world I would be upgrading those machines.

          One is a laptop purchased right after the release of XP (2 GB of RAM, 900 MHz processor) that can barely run XP, let alone Se7en. That said the machine is on its way out the door, I feel that hardware will fail at any moment. If it does, I'll get my mom running a Windows 7 netbook :)
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • LiveCare was for three computers

        But you could just add extras anyway.

        This was strange since the numbers are managed by MS Live directly, so it should easily have rejected the additional ones.
        • Thats true too

          Especially with the earlier editions.
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • GFC-00236

    When I do a search on that term, I find plenty of
    resellers listing it, albeit not yet for sale/out of
    • Nice find!

      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Thanks for the pointer!

      I did some sleuthing and found all sorts of great stuff:


      "Mythical" products don't usually have UPC codes and part numbers, not to mention prices.
      Ed Bott
  • I doubt there is or will ever ve a family oack

    They are greedy and want people to pay full price for each PC they have. They never had a Family pack before and I doubt they will anytime soon.

    I hope I am wrong it would be nice for me to buy one copy for my desktop and laptop.
    • Ummm...

      They've done it for a couple years now with office so why do you think MS wouldn't with Windows? Look at the post above yours, there seems to be something to the part number. One site has it listed as $137 but out of stock. That would be an amazing price for a 3 user license.
      • Re: Ummm..............

        Yes, definitely! Especially since even at the early bird pre-order price, at Wal Mart, is $49.95 per copy that would make it $149.85 for 3 copies!!!!
    • Family Pack. Fact or Fiction

      My thoughts are that MS have been made aware that they are not the impregnable giant in the software industry. They have shown in other areas that they are trying to secure their market penetration. I think MS have seen the light in this and offer this Family Pack, or the sniff of it to test market acceptance, to further their market penetration. The humble opinion of a non IT professional - just a tinkerer.
  • Well, here's an idea...

    How about waiting until the release, or something official from Microsoft before this sort of story/blog/whatever?