Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Microsoft to offer Windows Vista ‘Family Pack’ discount for Ultimate users

Even though the retail launch of Windows Vista just a couple of weeks away, Microsoft is still continuing to fine-tune its licensing and pricing details.

Sources said that Microsoft will announce some time over the next few days that the company will allow Vista Ultimate customers to purchase two additional copies of Vista Home Premium for somewhere between $50 to $99 a piece.

In order to qualify for the so-called "Family Pack" promotion, customers will first need to purchase at retail a copy of Vista Ultimate, which carries an estimated retail price of $399 U.S. The deal will not be offered to those who purchase Ultimate preloaded on a new PC, sources said; it will be for customers buying and/or upgrading via retail channels only.

Sources close to Microsoft were sketchy about some of the particulars. The exact price of the additional copies isn't clear: Some believe it will be $49.95 per copy; others, $99.95. Vista Home Premium's current estimated retail price is $239 per copy.

Microsoft is making multiple versions of Vista available on a single DVD, as part of its Windows Anytime Upgrade marketing plan. As a result, users who want to take advantage of the new promotion will be able to "unlock" the additional licenses from their DVD using a software key after paying for the additional copies by credit card, sources said.