Microsoft has confirmed that there will be a Windows 7 family pack version but has yet to say whether the upgrade will be on sale in Europe and if yes, at what price.
Brandon Le Blanc, a Windows Communications Manager at Microsoft, confirmed that the Family Pack Upgrade would allow installation of Windows 7 Home Premium in select markets on up to 3 PCs.
The move it seems was motivated by feedback from beta testers and enthusiasts; the company might also want to curb the rise of piracy by offering an appealing alternative. Apple already has a family pack which allows one operating system to be installed on up to five computers in the same household.
John Curran, UK's head of Windows Client, told PCPro that the Family pack was "originally envisioned as an upgrade pack, but with the Windows 7 E version there's some difficulty as there's no upgrade SKUs there" and further added that he "can't confirm whether we'll make that [Family Pack] available in the UK".
Leaked products specification pages in the US showed that the Family Pack Upgrade, which bears the SKU "GFC-00236" costs around $140.
If Microsoft fails to introduce a Windows 7 Family Pack offer in Europe or in the UK, maybe they should be looking into offering deep discounts on multiple OS package purchases (like 3 for the price of 1).
The suggested retail price for Windows 7 Premium is almost equivalent to the price of a computer or a netbook.
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Microsoft is tied by the agreement it brokered earlier this year with the European Commission regarding a dispute surrounding how Internet Explorer is integrated with Windows. The agreement forbids the company from selling upgrades that contain IE8 in the the UK, which explains why only full versions of Windows 7 are available for pre-order in Europe.
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