What would be really great is if a single Microsoft Live Gold subscription covered an entire household rather than just one console and/or account. That's wishful thinking, we know, but if you own multiple accounts, Microsoft's new Live Gold Family Pack, available now, should help take some of the sting out of getting everyone online.
The Family Pack subscription costs $100 and covers four 12-month memberships. At that price, you're basically paying for two memberships and receiving two for free, so while it won't help households with 'just' two Xbox 360 Live subscriptions, it's an okay deal for those with three and a pretty good bargain for those with four.
In addition to the discounted price, the special four-pack also includes a few exclusive benefits, such as access to the new Family Center for family account and online settings management; activity monitoring reports; the ability to purchase and gift Microsoft Points Allowances to your children; and family-friendly content and discounts.
A few months prior to the launch of Windows 7 Microsoft tried to entice early adopters with a killer deal on a three pack of Home Premium licenses, and as far as we can tell it was a huge success. Windows 7 was the most quickly adopted operating system in the company’s history, but like all good things it came it came to an unfortunate and abrupt end in early December 2009.
Anyone who waited too long was stuck paying nearly the same amount for a single copy, but if you missed the first offer we have good news for you, it’s back! Starting today you can order the Windows 7 Family pack which includes three copies of Home Premium for a mere $149.99. Anyone interested can pick up a copy at the Microsoft Online Store, or from what we can tell just about every common retailer that normally carries the SKU.
If you haven’t jumped over to Windows 7 yet, there has never been a better time to hop on the bandwagon. Still not convinced? I’m guessing that’s because you haven’t checked out our comprehensive review & benchmark comparison. Maybe you’re worried about the obstacles you might face while upgrading? We have a Guide for that too.
The family pack deal is just for US citizens at the moment but dozens of other countries will see the offer go live on October 22nd. Want to see if your homeland made the cut? Hit the jump to check out the list.
Microsoft will once again begin selling Windows 7 Family Packs, which ship with three upgrade licenses for Windows 7 Home Premium for $150.
This is the same promotion Microsoft ran when Windows 7 launched in October of last year and it didn't take long for copies to sell out. Like before, Microsoft is only allocating so many Family Packs, though the sultan of software didn't say exactly how many it will make available.
"So, don't delay," Microsoft said in a blog post. "The Windows 7 Family Pack will be available soon while supplies last."
U.S. residents will be able to purchase the Family Pack starting October 3rd at the Microsoft Store. Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, "and many other markets" will have access starting October 22nd.
Microsoft is setting itself up to do one of two things this holiday shopping season. The Redmond software maker can either play the part of the Grinch, the one who's heart was two sizes too small, and stand firm on not selling any more three-license Windows 7 Family Packs, or it can emerge as the ultimate good guy and restock vendors' shelves, even though the promotion has always been "while supplies last."
As it stands right at this moment, the Windows 7 Family Pack is pretty much sold out everywhere. This includes both brick and mortar stores, as well as every online vendor you'd want to do business with. Do enough digging and you may find a smaller site still selling its little remaining stock for $270 or more, but that's a tough price to swallow when for the past 6 weeks you could pick up the package for $150.
So how could Microsoft let this happen in the middle of the holidays? Hit the jump to see what an MS spokesperson had to say, and what you can do about it.
As the upgrade version of Windows 7 is unavailable in Europe, Microsoft is offering the full version for the price one expects to pay for the upgrade version. The price at which the full version is currently available in Europe has had everyone wondering how long it will last. Last week, an Amazon spokesperson told Cnet.co.uk to “treat this pricing as indefinite.” But when it comes to Windows 7 pricing, what Amazon says is of very little import compared to official word from Microsoft.
Microsoft has also announced that the Windows 7 Family Pack will also be available in eight European countries – apart from US and Canada- for a limited span of time. The eight European countries to have been promised a family pack option are UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden.
The announcement of a Windows 7 family pack should have come to much applause, but instead Microsoft faced an angry mob of customers who were worried that they overpaid when ordering multiple copies during the pre order promotion. If you count yourself among this crowd, it’s time to pack away the pitchforks since the pricing falls very much in line with what you would have paid for three copies anyway.
Windows 7 Home Premium family packs will retail for a very reasonable $149, but it now stands in stark contrast to the individual upgrade price of $119. I think most people would agree that the new family pack pricing is a pleasant surprise, but who would buy an individual upgrade copy when for only $30 more you can get 3? I suppose if you only have one PC this makes sense, but it still seems somewhat disproportionate.
Windows Anytime Upgrade pricing has also been revealed which allows users to pay for the option of “stepping up” to a higher product edition. Moving from Windows 7 Starter to Home Premium will run you $79.99, while the move from Home Premium to Professional will set you back $89.99.If you find you need more, you can also make the jump from Windows 7 Professional to Ultimate for a cost of $139.99. The equivalent upgrades in Vista were about 12% higher, continuing the trend of lowering the cost of Windows for consumers.
Thanks to a recent posting on the Windows 7 Team Blog, we finally have a confirmation on a family pack, and plenty of detailed information on just how everyone will get their copy of the new OS.
Those of us that are run of the mill consumers will be able to get our hands on Windows 7 starting October 22nd, for both retail and pre-order. And, if you beta tested it, let it be known that you “will not automatically receive a free copy of Windows 7. Many beta testers are already subscribers to TechNet; those of you who fit that description will be able to download Windows 7 RTM shortly after RTM happens for free as part of your subscription.”
And, giving in to the swirling rumors, solid information on the family pack is finally available. “I’m happy to confirm that we will indeed be offering a family pack of Windows 7 Home Premium (in select markets) which will allow installation on up to 3 PCs,” wrote Brandon LeBlanc on the blog.
If you’re looking for any additional information, be sure to check it out here.