Microsoft Product Manager Michelle Haven confirmed details of the Windows Anytime Upgrade (also referred to as WAU) and Family Pack pricing late last week. Brandon LeBlanc broke down the finer details at the Windows 7 Team Blog at Windows Anytime Upgrade and Family Pack Pricing.
The quick and dirty on this:
Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium.
Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate
According to Brandon’s posting you will be able to go to a retail store after the Windows 7 General Availability date of 22 October 2009 and buy a package that contains an upgrade key for any of the three scenarios mentioned above. You will also be able to purchase that WAU key directly from Microsoft from within Windows 7.
Another great note on this upgrade process from Brandon is that it should only take about 10 minutes and leaves all of your files, programs and settings alone.
Windows 7 Family Pack
The previously reported rumors and slip ups on various retail sites that revealed the Windows 7 Family Pack pricing a few weeks ago appear to be true. Much like the Family Pack pricing Microsoft offered with Windows Vista for a limited time – they will also provide a package that will allow the installation of Windows 7 Home Premium on up to three computers for a cost of only $149.99. That is a good deal to say the least and is on par with the offer a few weeks ago that allowed you to pre-order Windows 7 at over half off.
There does seem to be one other similarity between this Family Pack and the one offered for Windows Vista and I will let Brandon say it from his entry:
The Windows 7 Family Pack will be available starting on October 22nd until supplies last here in the US and other select markets.
The key phrase there is until supplies last. I think this gives Microsoft the ability to terminate this program whenever they see it as a good business decision to do so. I am glad the offer is out there no matter what and hope many of you take advantage of it as it is a terrific way to upgrade a home full of PC’s and save a good chunk of change.