More on the Vista family license

The official announcement of Microsoft’s family license program is out today. It’s a better deal than I thought:

We heard you loud and clear in planning the Windows Vista Family Discount.  Here’s how it works:

  • Buy a retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate (full or upgrade version)
  • Between 30 January – 30 June, order up to two copies of Windows Vista Home Premium online
  • Pay only $49.99 for each copy of Windows Vista Home Premium

The key is to get an upgrade version of Vista Ultimate, which should cost $250 or less, and then get the two extra licenses for $50 each. That works out to $350 (probably a little less, given the discounting that should be available), or under $120 per copy for one Ultimate and two Home Premiums. That’s not bad at all.

I don’t understand why this has to be a limited time deal, though. Just offer the discount and be done with it, Microsoft!

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13 thoughts on “More on the Vista family license

  1. I think they may be running it as a time-limited offer to gauge how well it performs. People tend to buy a little more aggressively when they know they can’t get the same thing forever.

  2. I should probably know this, but does this offer include upgrading an OEM copy of Windows XP? What about wiping an OEM machine clean that didn’t include an XP install CD?

  3. Actually, Serdar, the OEM copies do qualify for upgrades. The coupons are for free (or low cost) upgrades, to keep PC sales moving during the period between announcement and ship. I’ll have a new post addressing this question soon.

  4. The offer is only valid if you live in the USA and Canada. In Australia we have families too.

  5. Ed, thanks. I was wondering about that. Is it also possible to do that if you bought an OEM copy yourself w/hardware and built your own machine? My gut tells me no, but my gut has been wrong.

  6. An upgrade is valid for any version. It retains the license of the original. So if you buy an upgrade and install it on an OEM copy,the upgrade is locked to the machine it’s on, just as the original license was. If you install an upgrade on a retail copy, you can move it to another machine.

  7. Thanks for the clarification. I thought one of the restrictions of an OEM version was that it was not upgradeable, but it’s good to know that’s not the case. A friend of mine was considering not buying the OEM version of XP for that reason; he was worried that would mean he couldn’t upgrade it in the future.

  8. one curious question i have is micorosft going to give you the 2 CD’s for premium wait DVD’s, or are they just gona be downloads? also what about upgrading form a corperate edition?

  9. Looks like Microsoft may be having second thoughts about the Family Licence. They certainly do not have the link to the offocial “download” site working yet, and I am eager to go ahead.

    (I was part of the Vista technical beta, and have one copy running. Want several more for my other home machines, 2 Media Centers, wife’s computer etc.)


    Can the RTM CD be used for this if we can buy keys? Is there a special upgrade only CD?

  10. Question: If I buy an OEM version of Vista Ultimate (full) will I still be able to do the two extra Home Editions (upgrades) for the $49.95 each? I have two existing machines, but I’ve just built a new machine and would like to do it this way.

  11. Jan, the copy you got for being a beta tester is a full retail copy, so it qualifies. And you can use the same DVD, you don’t need a new one. It’s the key that counts, which you download from Microsoft.

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