Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows 7 Family Pack

Family packs of operating system licenses are great products. Apple started the trend with its family pack, which seeks to ensure that five-users around a Mac-using household are all running the latest operating system. Thankfully, Microsoft finally followed suit with Windows 7, offering a family pack that contained three licenses of Home Premium Upgrade.

Family packs are great as most households have more than one computer, and having everyone running the same, latest version of software generally makes things easier.

Sadly, for reasons that still confuse, Microsoft is pulling the plug on the Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade family pack. Paul Thurrott reports that the family pack has apparently sold out in the U.S. Thurrott was told by Microsoft that the family pack would be a limited-time offer in the U.S., Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

Ed Bott reached out to Microsoft for a comment of his own, and he received the response, "The Windows 7 Family Pack was introduced as a limited time offer while supplies last in select geographies. Response has been very positive and in some cases, the offer has sold out.  Customers interested in upgrading their PCs should purchase Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate upgrade products."

Microsoft allowing the Windows 7 family packs to dry up just six weeks following the OS's launch seems like a move made a bit too soon and rash. We'd like to see the family pack stick around indefinitely, as it's a good option for consumers and will speed up adoption of the new OS – something that Microsoft definitely wants. Now we're all just left scratching our heads at what Microsoft could be thinking in its move to end this offer just weeks before Christmas.

As a side note, those of you in Australia will have a bit longer, as Microsoft just launched family pack last week.

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Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • toorudez
    Big deal. Why wasn't a family pack of standard installs offered? That I would've gladly bought. With this family pack, I'd have to buy Vista, then upgrade to Win7? End up costing around $1100 to use all 3 licenses.
  • randerson
  • thomaseron
    Goodbye family pack, hello piracy...
  • randerson
  • aznguy0028
    i knew it was too good to last long! >_>
  • mr_tuel
    Ok, so I will use bittorrent then. Good job.
  • NapoleonDK
    This is disappointing to say the least. I just finished a build for my parents, and I'm planning a new one for myself in January. I even had everything on a wishlist... :( What an utter fail this is.
  • Regulas
    Let me see, not enough profit or is it fear of piracy with the licensing scheme? My guess, a little of both.
  • bison88
    If 80% of my business came from 90%+ consumers who use my operating system, I would want to capitalize on profits too! lol
  • hannibal
    Too good deal to customers I supose... This is the worst part of having monopoly in OS front...
    I really hope that they would not cut this family pack deal. It was a good option to any family with many computers.