Windows 7 launches next week, but don’t go looking for the three-licence Family Pack edition – Microsoft has confirmed this won’t be offered to its Australian customers.
Want to load Windows 7 onto three PCs in your home? Then you’ll have to stump up for three copies of the fresh-baked OS – at anywhere from $600 to $900, depending on if you buy an upgrade or fresh install edition – rather than grabbing the three-licence Family Pack edition for a fraction of that price.
Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows 7 Family Pack bundle available in the US will not be released onto the Australian market at launch.
However, a spokesman for the company’s PR agency left open the possibility that it might
land at some unnamed future date (read: sometime next year, when we need a dramatic sales spike in Windows 7 licences and revenue).
The Windows 7 Family Pack allows users to upgrade up to three PCs to Windows 7 Home Premium edition. It marks the first time that Microsoft has embraced a multi-user consumer licence for Windows, although a similar arrangement has been in place with a Student & Teacher Edition of its Office suite.
Given the overseas pricing of US$149 for the Windows 7 Family Pack, and based on the difference between the US$120 and A$199 pricing for a single PC upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium, Microsoft could sell the Windows 7 Family Pack in Australia for $249.
If they wanted
to sell it, of course.
Instead, if you choose to upgrade three PCs in your home to Windows 7, Microsoft expects you to stump up for at least $600, based on the $199 upgrade pricing on Windows 7 Home Premium from Vista or XP.
Buy the standard off-the-shelf pack designed for a clean install rather than upgrading a previous version of Windows and the tally will be close to $900, given the full retail price of $299 for each copy of Windows 7 Home Premium.
Meanwhile, Apple continues to do brisk business with its OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Family Pack, which permits five installations of OS X 10.6 for $69.