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Microsoft confirms £150 Windows 7 Family Pack

Windows 7 Aero glass

By Barry Collins

Posted on 24 Aug 2009 at 14:14

Microsoft has decided to bring its Windows 7 Family Pack to the UK after all.

The company will offer buyers the chance to upgrade up to three PCs to Windows 7 for £150. Users can upgrade from either Windows XP or Vista, although only Vista users will be able to perform an in-place upgrade where programs, settings and data are kept intact.

Microsoft says the Family Pack will only be available in "limited quantities" when it goes on sale on 22 October, the Windows 7 launch date.

The move represents a complete about face for Microsoft, which originally stated it wouldn't offer a Family Pack in the UK until 2010. This was because the company initially planned to offer only full versions of the OS in Europe, following its battle with EU competition authorities.

However, it hastily dropped plans for the E editions, deciding instead to offer rival browsers during the installation process to appease the EU's concerns over the bundling of Internet Explorer.

New prices

Microsoft has also announced new prices for Windows 7. The upgrade version of Windows 7 Home Premium will now cost £80 until the end of the year, when the price will be increased to £100. Windows 7 Professional upgrade will cost £190, while Ultimate weighs in at £200.

The full version of Home Premium will cost £150, with Professional priced at £220 and Ultimate topping the price list at £230.

Those prices are merely Microsoft's "estimates" - retailers will likely apply further discounts to the software.

Snow Leopard

Meanwhile, Apple has confirmed that the next version of Mac OSX, Snow Leopard, will be released on Friday. A five-licence Family Pack costs as little as £39, although Snow Leopard is a much smaller upgrade than Windows 7.

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User comments

[quote]Snow Leopard is a much smaller upgrade than Windows 7[/quote]

I think most PC users would simply call Snow Leopard a service pack after looking at the changes, which of course MS provides for free to Windows users.

By skarlock on 24 Aug 2009

eye candy

So a service pack is an OS upgrade that doesn't provide any new eye-candy? That's a bit simplistic isn't it? Mind you some people have called Windows 7 a service pack, so I guess the facts of the matter don't really count. Either you know what you are talking about or you start making uninformed comments and annoy people who actually have a regard for the truth.

By c6ten on 24 Aug 2009

Windows 7 is what Vista should have been in the first place . . . .

By zeevro on 24 Aug 2009

What I want to know...

...is what are PC world and others who took pre-orders for Windows 7 "E" going to supply now? Because I paid for a full version (not an upgrade) so I expect to get just that.

Anybody at PC Pro (Stuart, Barry) want to ring up Play.com, Amazon or PC World and ask that question?

Counting the days until the death of Vista!

By cheysuli on 24 Aug 2009

@cheysuli - as far as I know (and have read) the Windows 7 "E" edition no longer exists, and people who pre-ordered 7 will get the full edition (which can now also be used to upgrade from Vista), with the new browser ballot screen.:

http://snipurl.com/trwin7 [trustedreviews]

By pbryanw on 24 Aug 2009

In place XP upgrade to Win 7 via pseudo Vista

Users can upgrade from either Windows XP or Vista, although only Vista users will be able to perform an in-place upgrade where programs, settings and data are kept intact.

If it was possible to perform an in place upgrade from XP to Vista and it will be possible to do an in place upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, why can’t the Microsoft boffins produce a utility that will take my in place XP to Windows 7, via a pseudo Vista?

By JerseyBean on 24 Aug 2009

Re the service pack comments, Vista is windows V6.0, and windows 7 is windows V6.1.
I would therefore suggest that regarding win 7 as a service pack for Vista has some merit. It should be a free upgrade for the defective(IMHO)Vista OS.

By stokegabriel on 24 Aug 2009

Service packs

@stokegabriel

OK, by your argument, Snow Leopard is v10.6 of MacOS so should also be a free upgrade??

MS has precedent with .1 upgrades anyway, ie Win 98 was v4.1.

By halsteadk on 24 Aug 2009

6 service packs

OS X 10.0 was out in 2001 and since then they've had 6 upgrades in 9 years. I don't think you can say that they should have all been free so Win 7 is safe to be charged for especially since it is a bigger upgrade than the OS X version.

By TimoGunt on 24 Aug 2009

I would have thought the Snow Leopard launch would have warranted an article of it's own, instead of being tacked onto the end of a Windows 7 news story?

By pbryanw on 24 Aug 2009

Snow leopard

I'm not so sure you can call Snow Leopard an "upgrade". Apple have stripped the OS back to it's core and rebuilt to be much more efficient. While also incorporating some major new technologies such as grand central.

Don't get me wrong, i like windows 7, and will likely use it as a second boot option, but OS X remains my primary OS simply because I prefer it.

By hjlupton on 25 Aug 2009

I love the remark "although Snow Leopard is a much smaller upgrade than Windows 7"! So uninformed... Leopard code took up 12 Gb of disk space, Snow Leopard code takes up less than 6 Gb of disk space meaning it will be faster and more reliable; clearly features Bary Collins considers to be not worth paying for. Well, he is a Windows user...

As for Microsoft, since when have families only had 3 members? A 4 member family are going to have to pay £300! The 4 person Mac family will only have to pay £39 (or £179 if currently on the older Tiger). And that family pack also includes iLife and iWork... I won't even mention the cost of MS Office for a family of four...

By SwissMac on 25 Aug 2009

@cheysuli - Why do you assume that dropping the "E" means that a full version will become an upgrade version? Amazon's product page clearly says that it will still be a full version. There has never been any realistic chance that MS could legally change a full product requiring no previous licence into one that does need a licence, although certain news sites have peddled and promoted this rumour anyway.

@SwissMac - yes, but how many families have more than 3 PCs? Most don't and therefore wouldn't want to be paying for lots of licences they will not use. Unless MS went to a completely different model, they could put the limit anywhere and no doubt would cheese of someone. (In fact no matter what they do, there's always someone who'll jump in and show how cheesed off they are. If they gave Windows 7 away for free or paid everyone to use it, someone would complain.)

By halsteadk on 25 Aug 2009

E version pre-orders

E version pre-orders will be supplied with full (not upgrade) copies of Windows 7, according to Microsoft.

Let us know if a retailer tells you otherwise.

Barry Collins
Online Editor

By Barry_Collins on 26 Aug 2009

Windows

Windows 7 is to Vista what XP is to Windows 2000. Windows 7 and Windos XP may both be considered little more than a big Service Pack to their predecessor.

What annoys me is that Microsoft is not offering Vista Users a free upgrade considering they are so embarressed by Vista that they are killing it off.

By j_woolliscroft on 27 Aug 2009

Windows

Windows 7 is to Vista what XP is to Windows 2000. Windows 7 and Windos XP may both be considered little more than a big Service Pack to their predecessor.

What annoys me is that Microsoft is not offering Vista Users a free upgrade considering they are so embarressed by Vista that they are killing it off.

By j_woolliscroft on 27 Aug 2009

Windows

Windows 7 is to Vista what XP is to Windows 2000. Windows 7 and Windos XP may both be considered little more than a big Service Pack to their predecessor.

What annoys me is that Microsoft is not offering Vista Users a free upgrade considering they are so embarressed by Vista that they are killing it off.

By j_woolliscroft on 27 Aug 2009

Unfair to XP users!!

In view of the latest shift by Microsoft am starting to wonder if they ever consider the needs/position of their average customer.

Am I right in thinking that as a Windows XP user will not be able to 'upgrade' to Windows 7 but instead will have to totally 'reformat' my PC's. At my age [79] this is very worrying as it all sounds very difficult % so it seems have only two choices either to lug my two units to my local Computer store & get them to do the job or remain with Windows XP.

To me it seems that the shower at Microsoft are out to punish those of us who refused to shift from XP to their OS
'clunker' Vista. Or is this all the fault of that women at the EU who fined the Gates mob over Internet Explorer!!

She called it 'consumer protection' no no it was 'protection' for the minor players in the field who's offerings were deemed 'unsuitable' by the average EU 'joe * jill'......

By broncocop on 27 Aug 2009

Novel ?

Quote: Apple have stripped the OS back to it's core and rebuilt to be much more efficient...

That's like an Alien language to the current politic at Microsoft.

They appear to be steaming Titanic like up a Shasta Creek, with Barbed Wire Boat, and No Paddles and and OS with I.B.S. like Bloating.

By Gindylow on 27 Aug 2009

Microsoft can't please everyone

I dont think of vista as a absolute train wreck, its better now that they have worked on it a while, they released it too early thats all. Oh and i ordered a windows 7upgrade version from pc world for 49.99 introduction price. Does this mean now im getting a full version of windows 7?

By YoungBaird on 27 Aug 2009

OS-X was bloated, it's not actually been streamlined

Quote: Apple have stripped the OS back to it's core and rebuilt to be much more efficient.

This is somewhat misunderstood. What Apple have done is simply remove a lot of legacy code that enabled previous versions of OS-X to run on older powerpc macs. This has resulted in an effective halving of the size of the OS because up to this point OS-X can be thought of as being two completely different OS's depending on hardware, where each used about 6GB of installation space, but in a sloppy choice Apple didn't exclude the legacy code from new hardware installs, simply resulting in previous OS-X being unnecessarily bloated.

By skarlock on 27 Aug 2009

Why did I pre-order 7

I pre ordered 3 copies Windows 7 at the reduced price as Microsoft said there was not going to be a family package in the UK. Now they say there is. Microsoft extracts more £s by saying one thing, cashes in, then does another.

By pewtu on 27 Aug 2009

Free OS updates forever

Fed up with the constant grief of upgrading windows (I've been a user since widows 3.11) I installed Ubuntu. Now I get a free inplace OS upgrade over the internet every 6 months. I still run Vista on a laptop for the wife. Will I upgrade to Windows 7? No. Vista does what she needs. My advice, If your current OS does what you need why upgrade. If not, either bite the bullit and jump through Microsofts hoops or consider alternatives. Remember VMware server is free. Why not run Ubuntu as your main OS and an XP VM when you need your Windows fix.

By smukie on 27 Aug 2009

Pro vista.

After reading two Vista articles by Jon Honeyball,
I purchased a Toshiba Satellite Lap Top with pre
-installed Vista in March 2007.Used daily this operating system has been operational for 2.5 years giving excellent,problem free service.So I fail to understand why so many Vista user's have problems
with this operating system.Could it possibly
be I wonder that maybe the problems are due to downloads from some dodgy web sites and not Vista.

By Dennis710 on 27 Aug 2009

Amateur Vista

Or could it be that when faced with a representative sample of mainstream usage Vista is simply not up to the high standards some of us expect.

Yes it works now, in its lumpy kind of way. Is it streamlined and delay free? YOur answer to this probably depends on what your doing with it.

On the systems I manage on a day to day basis (a couple of schools, about 30 family PC's and about 30 business networks) I find Vista sluggish, jittery and generally less effective than XP.

The Win 7 trials I've looked at dont really convince me that 7 is more than Vista Plus a few gimmicks, plus a service pack, plus a rather shaky XP mode.

Not that any of this matters, we can all use what we like best.

But just to quote Microsoft in their recent OEM system builders partner email...

"Probably no Microsoft product has generated more excitement, just on its technical merits, than the Windows 7 operating system. But it’s also been called the “single greatest monetization opportunity” for partners."

I'm afraid that says it all for me...

By Gindylow on 27 Aug 2009

quote: Why did I pre-order 7? I pre ordered 3 copies Windows 7 at the reduced price as Microsoft said there was not going to be a family package in the UK. Now they say there is. Microsoft extracts more £s by saying one thing, cashes in, then does another.
__

I don't understand the complaint

3 x W7 Home Premium @ £49.99

W7 Family Pack @ £149.99 or £150

You've save 2 or 3 pence

By andy962 on 28 Aug 2009

Why did I pre-order 7

"I don't understand the complaint

3 x W7 Home Premium @ £49.99

W7 Family Pack @ £149.99 or £150

You've save 2 or 3 pence"

plus full as opposed to upgrade version

By chapelgarth on 28 Aug 2009

-_- Pre-order

Bit late now that i pre-ordered, oh well I'm sure I'll be happy with the Pro edition anyway.

By urmaster on 29 Aug 2009

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