Some "casually" left text in a post-release candidate beta of Windows 7 suggest a family pack is on the way.
In part of the end-user agreement in a recently leaked beta, a keen-eyed tester has noticed mention of a "Family Pack" version of Windows 7. The concept will be familiar to Apple users who have had such a thing for around seven years now, allowing users in the same household to install the same copy of the OS, to keep all their machines in sync.
It appears Microsoft will limit the pack to three machines, which isn't bad - the main family desktop and mummy's and daddy's laptops is an obvious permutation - but somewhat down on Apple's limit of five. Clearly Apple users have big families, or just rows and rows of Macs, carefully polished by a daddy who doesn't get out much.
According to the Ars Technica
story, the text in the Home Premium edition EULA says:"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."
The link is not yet live, but that's a pretty firm confirmation of what a lot of users had been hoping. Microsoft isn't saying anything, yet, but will probably be waiting a week or two to let the pricing announcements sink in. Plus, it will want to get the Fourth of July holidays out of the way, when Americans have other things on their minds. Ultimate moral of this story, you really can't keep a secret in the tech world any more.