updated 02:15 pm EDT, Thu July 2, 2009
Windows 7 Fam Pack Leak
An investigation of Microsoft's licensing for Windows 7 has revealed today that the company plans to introduce a Family Pack bundle for the new OS when it ships in October. Kristan Kenney has found installation rights for "qualified" Family Pack owners that give owners of that special copy the option of installing it on two extra PCs without encountering activation problems. The Family Pack only appears for the Home Premium edition's license and not for Professional or Ultimate.
The specific allowance for a family license appears to be a more direct expansion on what was offered with Vista. Microsoft hoped to appease concerns over costs for multi-PC homes in 2007 with a family discount purchase, but this required buying Vista Ultimate and receiving bargains on two copies of Vista Home Premium, negating much of the advantage versus just buying separate copies.
It may also address a common complaint regarding Windows upgrades compared to Macs, where family packs have been common. Future buyers of Snow Leopard, and most other releases of Mac OS X, have had access to a $199 family pack that lets owners legally install copies on five home systems. The Windows 7 Family Pack seems to echo this strategy by using a separate disc.