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July 31, 2009

Windows Anytime Upgrade and Family Pack Pricing

Most people buy a PC preinstalled with the edition of Windows that meets their unique needs. However, for some customers their needs may change over time.

Windows Anytime Upgrade

With Windows Anytime Upgrade (or WAU), we make it super easy and convenient for the small number of customers who’s PC needs evolve to need a higher edition of Windows 7.

There are a couple of specific situations where we think WAU will prove useful:

Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium

Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium: $79.99

A customer may purchase a netbook thinking they would use primarily it for email. Over time, they find they are using that netbook as their primary every-day PC. That person decides they want their netbook to do more. If the netbook is running Windows 7 Starter (or Windows 7 Home Basic in select markets), WAU makes it super easy to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium. Moving to Windows 7 Home Premium will allow that customer to take advantage of features such as Aero Peek and other enhanced functionality in the Windows Taskbar in Windows 7 such as Taskbar Previews. Desktop themes are also enabled and so is Remote Media Streaming.

Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional

Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate

Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional: $89.99
Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate:

* You’ll note that we’ve reduced the price of moving from Home Premium to Ultimate 12% in the US as compared to Vista pricing

Another case where WAU may come in handy is when a person wants the ability to connect to a business network (a “domain”). Using WAU to move up to Windows 7 Professional enables the customer to take advantage of the ability to join a domain and use Windows XP Mode to run older programs. When using WAU to move to Windows 7 Ultimate, you’ll get everything from the other editions plus BitLocker to keep your USB devices encrypted and secure and the ability to run your PC in any of 35 different languages (via Language Packs).

After Windows 7 is released to market on October 22nd, you will be able to buy a retail package that contains an upgrade key at a store near you for any of the 3 paths I highlighted above.

If you live in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK or the US (13 countries) – you will be able to purchase the upgrade from Microsoft online directly within Windows 7.

Whether you buy a WAU retail package from a store or online directly within Windows 7, the upgrade takes as few as ten minutes. This is because it only requires an upgrade key (no media). Your current programs, files, and settings will remain intact.

For a rundown of the Windows Anytime Upgrade experience, click here.

Now let’s talk about the Windows 7 Family Pack. Last week I confirmed we were doing a family pack for Windows 7 consisting of Windows 7 Home Premium for installation on up to 3 PCs.

Family Pack of Windows 7 Home Premium

Today, most homes have more than one PC in them. When you run Windows 7 on more than one PC on a home network, you can do more with features like HomeGroup. HomeGroup allows people to connect to PCs on their network and share files, music and photos with the whole family – easily. The Windows 7 Family Pack is an easy and affordable way to get all your PCs in your household running Windows 7 through licensing to install Windows 7 Home Premium on up to 3 PCs.

The Windows 7 Family Pack will be available starting on October 22nd until supplies last here in the US and other select markets. In the US, the price for the Windows 7 Family Pack will be $149.99 for 3 Windows 7 Home Premium licenses. That’s a savings of more than $200 for three licenses. This is a great value and we’re excited to be able to offer it to customers.