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Microsoft Unveils Family Pack and Anytime Upgrade Options

Microsoft has finally announced Windows 7 Family Pack as well as details of its Windows Anytime Upgrade option for the new operating system.

But users in the UK will be disappointed to learn that Microsoft is "currently working on the best solutions for its UK consumers", meaning that there are no plans currently to release family pack in the UK.

This is because Windows 7 Family pack is an upgrade SKU and upgrade SKUs of Windows 7 E won't be available in the UK until at least 2010 according to Microsoft. This comes after

This would have allowed punters to install the same copy of Windows 7 Home premium on three different PCs in select markets.

Microsoft has also unveiled the pricing matrix for its Windows Anytime Upgrade option for Windows 7. As its name implies, it will allow punters to swap their existing Windows 7 OS for something, shall we say, beefier.

Microsoft says that the upgrades can be done within 10 minutes and involves mostly typing in a product code. Neophytes can either buy the package from a retailer or directly from the Microsoft Online store.

Although, the idea is a great one, the price that Microsoft is charging for the upgrades is nothing short of extortionate. Windows 7 Professional (opens in new tab) currently costs £160 at Amazon while the Ultimate (opens in new tab) one sells for £30 extra.

In comparison, WAU customers will be charged a jaw-dropping £85 for that same upgrade. The same trends applies for the rest of the range.

It is worth noting that because Windows 7 Starter is expected to replace Windows XP in netbooks by the end of the year, three new SKUs for Windows 7 starter to Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate have been introduced.

Our Comments

As Jack Schofield from Guardian puts it, Windows 7 Anytime Upgrades are priced to put potential customers off. Not that Microsoft would rake in significant profits from doing it but chances are that they were possibly trying to coming up with a scheme to convince potential customers to buy the right product from the start.

Related Links

Microsoft announces pricing for Windows 7 family pack, upgrading (opens in new tab)

Microsoft prices Windows 7 family pack (opens in new tab)

Windows 7 Anytime Upgrades - priced to put you off? (opens in new tab)

Microsoft Unveils Win7 Family Pack, Upgrade Pricing (opens in new tab)

Windows 7 Family Pack Pricing Confirmed at $149 (opens in new tab)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.