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 currently costs £160 at Amazon while the Ultimate 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.

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