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  (Source: Getty Images)

Windows 7 anytime upgrade will allow for customers to move up to a fancier version of Windows 7 much more cheaply.  (Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft is also offering a family pack of 3 Home Premium licenses for $149.99, a savings of $210.  (Source: Microsoft)
Deals continue for Windows 7

When it comes to Windows 7, Microsoft seems to be doing everything it can to convince users to buy a legitimate copy.  It offered large discounts during its now-finished (in the U.S.) pre-order program.  It has also been looking at ways of actively discouraging piracy of its new OS.

Earlier this week, an OEM master key from Lenovo leaked.  According to Alex Kochis, Director of Genuine Windows at Microsoft, Microsoft has moved fast to combat the potential of an ensuing piracy free-for-all.  It has blacklisted the key, delivering a new key to Lenovo.  It is working with Lenovo to ensure all Windows 7 PCs that it ships use the new key and none use the old key.  All Windows 7 installs using the leaked key will be blacklisted and customers will be warned that they have a non-genuine version of Windows when trying to perform typical OS operations and maintenance.

Mr. Kochis describes, "We've worked with that manufacturer so that customers who purchase genuine copies of Windows 7 from this manufacturer will experience no issues validating their copy of Windows 7. At the same time we will seek to alert customers who are using the leaked key that they are running a non-genuine copy of Windows. It's important to note that no PCs will be sold that will use this key."

Meanwhile, Microsoft unveiled its Anytime upgrade plan and its much anticipated Family Pack pricing.  The family pack will be offered at release on October 22 and will include three licenses of Windows Home Premium.  The total price is $149.99, or $49.99 per license -- the same as the pre-order but no time limit.  The obvious limitation is that you have to purchase three licenses to get the discount, but considering you save $200 that seems a fair bargain.  Microsoft says it’s a thank you to all the hard work the public did beta testing the product.

Meanwhile the upgrade program -- offered in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US -- will allow for cheaper upgrades.  Moving from the Windows 7 Starter edition to Windows Home Premium will only cost $79.99 (normally $99.99 for Home Premium upgrade), moving from Home Premium to Professional will cost $89.99 (normally $199.99), and from Home Premium to Ultimate will cost $139.99 (normally $219.99).

Microsoft hopes the competitive price offers will convince users to upgrade their existing computers to Windows 7 and to upgrade their new computers from their base OS (Home Premium for most OEMs) to a fancier version.  The common sense approach they're taking with their pricing seems like a great idea and should help the company produce even greater profits and turn Windows 7 into a resounding sales success, especially given the high quality of the product.

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Family pack huh??
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Family pack huh??
By sprockkets on 7/31/2009 2:44:01 PM , Rating: 5
Notice it says "Upgrade" on the box.

RE: Family pack huh??
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Family pack huh??
By FaceMaster on 8/2/2009 3:55:17 PM , Rating: 3
'Anytime upgrade plan'

RE: Family pack huh??
By Tewt on 7/31/2009 4:06:13 PM , Rating: 2

I basically look at it as I will do a clean install regardless. If I have an XP key, is there really a difference between getting the full retail versus the upgrade? Any advantage to having the full retail? I really only care about OEM vs Retail version so I can easily move it to a new computer when I decide to upgrade hardware.

RE: Family pack huh??
By Souka on 7/31/2009 4:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
Do a clean install with upgrade DVD and provide XP key when'll be fine.'ll be runnign an "Upgrade"...which could affect trying to upgrade to another version of Windows7 or Windows 8? when/if it comes out.

RE: Family pack huh??
By walk2k on 7/31/2009 5:59:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, with the upgrade you have to have XP installed.

No more "enter your key" - the OS must be actually installed .

With the full version you don't have to.

RE: Family pack huh??
By Davelo on 7/31/2009 7:18:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well that sucks.

RE: Family pack huh??
By jtesoro on 7/31/2009 11:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
Is that right? It'd be a pain because if you decide to reinstall Windows 7 on the same machine, you'd have to install XP first. A fresh install should require you to just enter the XP license key before entering the Windows 7 key.

RE: Family pack huh??
By ET on 8/2/2009 1:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
I've read somewhere that once you install the upgrade Win7, the XP key will be invalidated on the MS servers, and from that point on you won't be able to install XP with its license, but will also not need to in order to use the Win7 license. So it's just a one time hassle.

RE: Family pack huh??
By Jason H on 8/1/2009 4:24:03 AM , Rating: 4
I thought it was the other way around - you can't do an in-place upgrade from XP - you have to do a fresh install to go from XP to 7.

RE: Family pack huh??
By dark matter on 8/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Family pack huh??
By Laitainion on 8/1/2009 5:34:58 AM , Rating: 2
That only applies to Vista, apparently Win7 checks that the OS it's 'upgrading' from is activated so in theory that work-around won't work anymore.

RE: Family pack huh??
By lecanard on 8/1/2009 10:41:22 PM , Rating: 1
Does no one know the much easier way to do this (with Vista at least)?

You simply don't enter a key when installing. You just skip that step. It lets you. Then it asks and you tell it what version you want to install (select the version you have a key for) and it installs. Then after it is already installed, you give it the key from your upgrade and you're done.

RE: Family pack huh??
By EasyC on 8/3/2009 12:16:04 PM , Rating: 4
I've already downloaded and installed the RTM on 3 machines in an effort to try out various activation techniques.

One machine I installed with the key. They apparently blacklisted the key 2 days later since 2 days after I installed, it started annoying me with popups telling me windows isn't geniune.

The second machine I installed without the key, and copied the pkeyconfig and tokens files from the RC. I used my RC key and it activated flawlessly. However, upon reboot, I got the "Build 7600, Evaluation Copy" in the lower left hand corner. Computer Properties still listed the OS as being full however. I haven't tried setting the clock to 2011 yet to test if the OS locks you out after RC expiration.

The last machine I installed without the key and used a timer nuke batch file to disable the activation and expiration services. I have had no problems with this machine at all. Everything works with no annoying popups, even with the date set to 2022.

I'm not condoning piracy in this post. I pre-ordered my copy of Professional back in July, but I myself will not want to reinstall XP, then Windows 7 every time I upgrade HD's or just want a fresh install.

I am setting up a 4th machine with professional without using a key. I will keep re-arming until my legal 'Upgrade' key comes in on 10/22. Then, I will change the product key in windows and see if it will allow me to activate. In theory, this should work because people upgrading from XP will have to do a full format/install anyway. Unless the upgrade disc triggers a key in the registry letting windows know xp was previously installed or that it was installed using an upgrade edition disc, in which case a hack will be easy.

RE: Family pack huh??
By Lonyo on 7/31/2009 2:43:39 PM , Rating: 5
A single copy of Windows 7 Upgrade is $120.
A family pack of 3 Windows 7 Upgrade licenses is $150.
A full copy of Windows 7 is $200.
(All Home Premium)

RE: Family pack huh??
By just4U on 7/31/2009 9:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
Any ideas yet on what the oem copies will cost?

RE: Family pack huh??
By jconan on 8/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Family pack huh??
By DOSGuy on 8/2/2009 12:32:28 AM , Rating: 5
Except that you have to buy a computer from Apple first, at a price premium of anywhere from $500 to $1000 relative to an identically configured PC. They could sell OS X for $1 and it would still cost more than Windows 7.

RE: Family pack huh??
By sebmel on 8/2/09, Rating: -1
RE: Family pack huh??
By Ananke on 7/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: Family pack huh??
By headbox on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Family pack huh??
By ipay on 7/31/2009 3:27:37 PM , Rating: 3
Has there ever been a study showing licenses sold with computer purchases (OEM) vs. retail sales?

A better question would be: does anyone except you actually care?

RE: Family pack huh??
By PrinceGaz on 8/2/2009 8:30:12 PM , Rating: 3
I care :)

RE: Family pack huh??
By Murst on 7/31/2009 2:57:46 PM , Rating: 3
What does Sony/PS3 have to do with this?

RE: Family pack huh??
By Remalith on 7/31/2009 3:38:44 PM , Rating: 4
I assume that's Microsoft is evil so buy a PS3 not an XBOX360. Mildly off topic, but not bad for the internet.

RE: Family pack huh??
By ipay on 7/31/2009 3:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
By "alternative" you mean Linux, don't you? An OS that doesn't support DirectX and hence doesn't support the majority of games?

I don't call that an alternative, but then maybe I'm not a crackhead like you.

RE: Family pack huh??
By Ananke on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Family pack huh??
By roostitup on 7/31/2009 8:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
FYI, your Vista Business version will support DX11 along with any Vista OS. You don't need Windows 7 for DX11 support like how you needed Vista for DX10.

RE: Family pack huh??
By teflonbilly on 7/31/2009 10:21:42 PM , Rating: 3
Should we assume then that this is your first computer. you have no OS yet, and are going out to buy it all at once?

Really the cost of your previous OS should not really factor in. You had time with it to use, and you are now upgrading to new software. Its your decision to upgrade and certainly don't have to. But to include the cost of yoru previous OS is like saying "My computer is a rip off. It cost me $20000 to build it. I had to upgrae when the new games came out and it kept costing money."

The cost is $150 for 3 licenses. Thats a great deal. Unless you dont know 2 other people with computers they want to upgrade.

RE: Family pack huh??
By Ananke on 8/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Family pack huh??
By TedStriker on 7/31/2009 2:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
Normal price is $119 I believe. If you are putting it on more than 1 machine, it makes sense to buy the family pack. If you just have 1 PC, stick with the single license.

Anyone know how many pre-orders were made. Curious to see if there was a large response which may sway MS to do the 1/2 off pre-order for other products in the future.

RE: Family pack huh??
By Belard on 7/31/2009 3:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
Even if you don't own 3 computer, you can a friend to help buy a unit or two.

$120 for 1 vs. $150 for 3... so if you only need 2 - that'll be $100.

Its a good fair move.

RE: Family pack huh??
By DigitalFreak on 7/31/2009 3:51:04 PM , Rating: 3
That's only legal if you all live in the same house. Not that I care, but just saying...

RE: Family pack huh??
By Belard on 7/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: Family pack huh??
By Sulphademus on 7/31/2009 4:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
My girlfriend lives with me. We're the same 'household' I guess but not a 'family'. Does this mean if I buy the family pack and upgrade her machine as well as mine that the EULA Police will storm my house and arrest me?

RE: Family pack huh??
By ImSpartacus on 7/31/2009 5:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, if u pirated a copy of 7 from the internet, the EULA police would still not come to your door. Don't worry about it.

RE: Family pack huh??
By rcc on 7/31/2009 5:20:53 PM , Rating: 5
Just think of her as your sister occasionally.

No, not at those times.... Bad boy.

RE: Family pack huh??
By Belard on 7/31/2009 6:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
So.... you have a sister.

Your thoughts have failed you again.


RE: Family pack huh??
By Belard on 7/31/2009 6:40:32 PM , Rating: 1
And they'll take away the Win7 computer and force you to use Macintosh.

Sometimes when the EULA police come, they make converts.

Read this article:

RE: Family pack huh??
By Belard on 8/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Family pack huh??
By PrinceGaz on 8/2/2009 8:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is okay so long as you are living at the same address and therefore using the same internet-connection at home.

If on the other hand she lived in a different house and you installed a copy of Windows 7 using your 3-computer license on it, then it is quite possible MS would detect two different home addresses are using the same license and inform the police, and armed officers would then perform a dawn-raid breaking down the front-door and seizeing (sp?) all computer equipment in both premises.

Then again I've let a friend share one of the licenses of my 3-computer copy of an internet-security suite I am legally entitled to use, and neither of us have been raided yet in the year or so I've done this.

Fairly Impressed
By formulav8 on 7/31/2009 2:17:51 PM , Rating: 5
It may just be me but i'm kinda impressed with Microsofts family pack pricing. $50 per pc is not to shabby!


RE: Fairly Impressed
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Impressed
By Smilin on 7/31/2009 2:47:50 PM , Rating: 5
Using a hacked key would be much easier as you don't have to wait 30 days.

I mean if you're going to be an @sshole and pirate the OS like you did why not go for broke?

RE: Fairly Impressed
By invidious on 7/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: Fairly Impressed
By Breathless on 7/31/2009 3:34:09 PM , Rating: 4
Is that your judgement in the matter?

RE: Fairly Impressed
By rcc on 7/31/2009 5:22:07 PM , Rating: 5
Who really needs to pass judgement, he confessed, lets just move on to sentencing.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Impressed
By Nekrik on 7/31/2009 6:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
"2 or 3 at a time" -quote from your prior post, 3 at a time is breaking the liscense agreement, that is not legal and is piracy. The idea is you can install it on a desktop and a laptop, and then only run one of those at a time. Using it as the base install for multiple upgrades is also outside of the liscense agreement.

I will however admit that one sale is better than none, but still not technically legal.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By Etsp on 7/31/2009 2:50:31 PM , Rating: 1
What you're doing is Piracy.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By invidious on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Impressed
By Morphine06 on 7/31/2009 3:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
there is no reasonably priced alternative to piracy

Hard for a company to compete with free. You are making the "I should be able to back-up my DVD/CDs" argument to pirating an OS. Asinine.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By atlmann10 on 7/31/2009 5:18:28 PM , Rating: 3
You know what is funny about these people who post stuff about pirating software on this forum. That unless you are at least running a shadow DDS, or fully private web connection (read multiple connection super IP address) your IP is logged. Therefore if you post on here to begin with you are not a hacker. However; you may be a rather unsmart general pirate of software.

So if you post on being a pirate on the web in a forum like this, you are as likely to be busted, as the woman who got a what 2.5 million dollar fine for 9 songs she pirated and traded.

The internet police do not knock down many doors, but when they do I wouldn't want to be on the other side of it that's for sure. So I basically regard these posts the same as kids on a playground bragging about how cool they are as well as the awesome things they have done.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Impressed
By Akrovah on 7/31/2009 4:14:24 PM , Rating: 4
No, but you do "legally" have to purchase a new copy for each computer you install on. So says the XP license agreement. Moving from one computer to another is a little fuzzy and I'm not sure the legallity of that, but having it on 2 - 3 computers at the same time, as you stated in your original post, is a clear violation of the license agreement and therefore illegal.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: Fairly Impressed
By teflonbilly on 7/31/2009 10:29:00 PM , Rating: 3
yes it really is.

Installation and use. You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Product on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device (“Workstation Computer”). The Product may not be used by more than two (2) processors at any one time on any single Workstation Computer. You may permit a maximum of ten (10) computers or other electronic devices (each a “Device”) to connect to the Workstation Computer to utilize the services of the Product solely for File and Print services, Internet Information Services, and remote access (including connection sharing and telephony services). The ten connection maximum includes any indirect connections made through “multiplexing” or other software or hardware which pools or aggregates connections. Except as otherwise permitted by the NetMeeting, Remote Assistance, and Remote Desktop features described below, you may not use the Product to permit any Device to use, access, display or run other executable software residing on the Workstation Computer, nor may you permit any Device to use, access, display, or run the Product or Product’s user interface, unless the Device has a separate license for the Product.

Right out of the EULA of Win XP Pro

RE: Fairly Impressed
By Spivonious on 7/31/2009 3:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
Just because it works doesn't mean it's legal.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Impressed
By mikecel79 on 7/31/2009 3:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
Direct from the Windows XP Pro EULA (which you agreed to when you installed it).

You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Product on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device (“Workstation Computer”).

I don't see how it can be more clear than that. I don't care what this MS rep told you. He's wrong. Microsoft representatives aren't experts on licensing. Doesn't matter how you slice it, it's piracy. Explain it the way you have may make you feel better about it, but it's still piracy.

Now the office EULA is a different story....

RE: Fairly Impressed
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Impressed
By LuxZg on 8/1/2009 11:10:17 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, just to add a little to the debate, you may install it on second computer, but before this you should erase the previous copy. So if you use desktop and laptop, it would mean reinstalling OS every time you switch from one to the other.

Anyway, you can't say you've never had both of those computers turned on, even if it was just for transferring some file over network or something similar, not to mention that maybe at times a visitor came and used laptop while you were on desktop etc.

Not that I mind, but you really can't argue that what you did was legal. Sure, it's more legal than other ways, but it's not 100% clean thing.

Just to add, probably me using our office license on home computer isn't legal either by lawyer standards, even if this whole computer is bought and owned by my company at all times, and I'm just using it. But I doubt that Microsoft would agree it's something that's 100% legal. Maybe for laptop, but hardly for desktop. Not that I care, like I've said, bought and owned by my company, has their license on it, and occasionally I DO work on it. But I'm sure more than one lawyer would tell me same that other ppl told you - "if it makes you feel better, fine, but it's not 100% legal use" :P

RE: Fairly Impressed
By noirsoft on 7/31/2009 5:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you are thinking of Office, which explicitly states that you can install on both a desktop and laptop (last time I checked the EULA) -- But an OS is only allowed to be installed on one PC at a time.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By Belard on 7/31/2009 7:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
No, that depends on the license. It doesn't matter what the software is (OS, Office, Game, picture, etc)

Windows OS can be installed:
- only on a single computer
- two computers
- three computers
- thousands of computers
- No computers

Answer = All of the above. Depending on what version / type you buy. An OEM from HP, Dell, etc = only that one single computer.

And that INCLUDES MS-OFFICE too. Hence, I don't recommend people pay the price of an OEM Office which is about the same as a retail version... a Retail version allows two or three installs (depending on version).

A Corp/Enterprise edition is be in the thousands... depending on the license; it could be all the PCs at the office while using a single key.

Also, lets say you have 3 home computers with Office2003/7 whatever. You replace your #3 PC with OEM Windows. With a 4th PC with OEM Windows. Wipe #3 PC or uninstall Office, and you can legally install Office onto the 4th computer. Then DL and install Open Office onto the #3 PC would keep it legit while being functional for use or sale :)

RE: Fairly Impressed
By walk2k on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Impressed
By rennya on 7/31/2009 11:43:15 PM , Rating: 3
Where in US Copyright law did they state this? I believe there is no such thing in there.

RE: Fairly Impressed
By Targon on 8/2/2009 7:54:53 AM , Rating: 1
To an extent, that may be considered fair use, but at the same time, what are the chances that if you have multiple computers that you will NEVER have both up and running at the same time? Think about it, most people with two computers will leave one computer on here or there while they are using a different computer.

The operating system is very different from your usual application in that you generally won't be able to use the machine without that operating system.

Windows 7 Family Pack
By DaveLessnau on 7/31/2009 2:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
Is the Windows 7 Family Pack an upgrade package? Or, can it be used to install onto bare metal? Even here:

it's folded into an article about Windows Anytime Upgrade. But, it doesn't specify whether this is upgrade or standalone.

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By masteraleph on 7/31/2009 2:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's upgrade only. It's designed to work the same way that, say, an OSX upgrade works- you have a family's worth of computers and you want to buy a package to upgrade all of them, not a different one for each computer.

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By walk2k on 7/31/2009 2:59:17 PM , Rating: 1
It doesn't say anything about upgrade, but that would make sense since full version is $199 alone (upgrade is $119).

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By invidious on 7/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By Morphine06 on 7/31/2009 3:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
I would have expected the people pirating XP to have grown up by now.

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By ClownPuncher on 7/31/2009 3:53:40 PM , Rating: 5
Poor guy, I feel for you. Microsoft sucks for not catering to people who refuse to pay for their software.

This is sarcasm. You are an ass.

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By wetwareinterface on 7/31/2009 5:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
by invidious on July 31, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Upgrade pricing is basically MS saying if you are previously a pirated OS user then you are going to stay that way. No one who was willing to pirate xp or vista is going to be willing to pay $200 for a single win7 licence.

This PR nonsense about them branching out to customers is BS, they are not doing anything to bridge the gap between themselves and pirated OS users.

you don't get it, if you are pirating their operating system you are not their customer. they are taking steps to make sure you cannot pirate their operating system and offering cheaper pricing to entice those who would possibly pirate and previous customers to spend their money on the new windows version. if you decide to be a pirate you are not their customer but a negative impact in the marketplace that they have to spend more money on to combat.

no one forces you to use microsoft's products or to install the newest versions. microsoft's products still work even after being end of lifed. I still have a windows 98 machine here that I had to keep on win 98 for driver reasons of a very esoteric piece of hardware. microsoft didn't end the os just stopped supporting it. win xp and 2k even is still a viable platform for a gaming machine on modern hardware. win 7 is not needed to upgrade to, it's that you WANT the extras win 7 offers. you could install vmware player on win 2k and run a linux distro under it for web surfing safety and maintain gaming ability at the same time right now. just an example of not needing to pirate to get the latest security etc... to head off your next probable lame argument of microsoft owes you something etc...

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By Belard on 7/31/2009 7:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
To a degree yes...

But if Microsoft wants to make converts, it would be a GOOD thing for both sides.

Many people who pirate may have 3 or more computers and in a sense, don't see the VALUE of spending $100~200 per computer that they use. Thats a lot of money to spend for a single user.

And such a user can just as easily get their hands on Win7 and not pay for it.

I think it would be worthwhile for the 3-pak to not be so picky and allow a user to "upgrade" from a pirated version of WinXP/Vista to a legit version of Win7.

- Microsoft makes money
- Microsoft can add the notches to their belt of # of licences.
- That is 1~3 less illegal versions of XP/Vista out there
- The user has spent less to get "legit"
- The user doesn't have to worry about MS sending out a shut-down code.

It in Microsoft's court on how to handle it. Doesn't matter to me on a personal level. Not my problem either way.

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By just4U on 7/31/2009 9:30:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

Also it's worth noting that no matter what Microsoft wants you on their operating system rather then using something else. Naturually, their going to prefer people paying for the OS but I can almost bet that they'd rather you pirate their OS then go to something else.Good chance their going to be a bit creative in this area.. atleast in the early going.

MS is pretty slick overall.. they have some downright crafty methods for turning pirates into paying customers... and IT WORKS!

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By Fritzr on 8/1/2009 6:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
I think it would be worthwhile for the 3-pak to not be so picky and allow a user to "upgrade" from a pirated version of WinXP/Vista to a legit version of Win7.

When you upgrade a licensed version of anything you have to have a valid license. No license? Then it is not an upgrade of an existing license.

Microsoft offers a discount to users who already posess a licensed copy of an outdated Microsoft product who wish to replace that older version with a later one. This discount is marketed as an "upgrade version".

If your install is an unlicensed pirate version, then there is no license to upgrade. Purchasing and installing an "upgrade" to convert the illegal install to a legal install is illegal since there is no prior legal version to upgrade from.

You CAN convert an illegal install to a legal install by purchasing either the OEM distro for your machine or the Full Install version for a machine lacking a qualifying license for the upgrade program.

You can whine, bitch, moan and provide all the excuses you like, but in the end Microsoft wrote the code, holds the exclusive copyright to the code and under US law controls when, where and how it will be used for at least the next 75 years.

If you wish to change that reality then you can either convince your congressman to submit a bill to change the law or run for Congress and do it yourself. Til then you are stuck with paying Microsoft for the right to use their code on your hardware, use an alternate OS such as Linux, Unix, AmigaOS, BEOS or another of the many alternatives to Windows that can be used to make your computer hardware fully functional. You also have the right to roll your own OS.

That last option is the way many of the alternatives came to exist :) Linux was a school project when it was first created. Today when people consider a *nix it is Linux rather than Unix that first comes to mind. If you don't like those two then look at BSD which is the other major OS in the *nix family.

If you really need Windows functionality and do not wish to pay the developers for their work you can join the WINE development team and help bring Windows compatibility to the *nix desktop. Codeweavers adds more Windows functionality to the basic WINE (independent code branch), but like Microsoft they ask users to help pay for development by paying a fee to use Codeweaver code.

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By just4U on 8/1/2009 6:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't dispute anything you state here Fritzr, I was just saying that Microsft wants people to install their OS. They always have. Don't matter how they get it they want that OS installed.

They do come up with some rather creative ways to get non paying users turned into customers. For them it's probably a work in progress and If I had to hazzard a guess they probably feel that they will get the money out of you now or later but they will get.

RE: Windows 7 Family Pack
By Belard on 7/31/2009 3:59:17 PM , Rating: 1
They are a family pack "upgrade".

You'll still do a clean install anyways. The setup program will run in WindowXP - YOU NEED to backup your data first!

But lets say your HD blows up, you buy a new one... You insert the Win7 upgrade disc, it'll ask for the WinXP key, then the Win7 key and install as normal.

So like my notebook which has Win7rc on it, when I install WIn7 retail (from the family pak), I'll enter the XP key off its bottom. ;)

By Murst on 7/31/2009 1:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
Unless they changed their authentication process, what stops the same ( or different ) group of hackers from using the same method to extract the replacement key?

RE: Weird
By imaheadcase on 7/31/2009 1:56:38 PM , Rating: 3
That key that was released was not "hacked" it was just leaked to someone who then in turn leaked it to the net.

No hacking about it.

RE: Weird
By Murst on 7/31/2009 1:58:54 PM , Rating: 1
From the original article:
The boot.wim file was cracked to yield the OEM-SLP key and the OEM activation certificate

Sure seems like more than just a leak to me, unless the original article is incorrect.

RE: Weird
By defter on 7/31/2009 2:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it's a leak, if you have boot.wim then you can extract the key. Those wim files can be opened with a simple program, no "cracking" or "hacking" needed:

I wonder that Microsoft aims to achieve here? Windows7 is supposed to be installed to millions of computers, it's enough for one OEM employ to leak the key and it can be used by anyone.

RE: Weird
By omnicronx on 7/31/2009 2:28:31 PM , Rating: 4
Its not just a leak because you can't just plug in that key and expect it to work. The hacks out in the wild are exactly the same as what exists for Vista as SLIP 2.1 is backwards compatible with SLICK 2.0. In fact the current would not be possible at all without the previous Vista implementation already out in the wild. That being said, simply having the key does absolutely nothing for you.

There are three things you need to get this to work.

1.SLIC table in Bios
2.OS certificate which matches bios
3.A serial number

The cracks in the wild bypass (1) with bios tricks and insert certificates and serials(2).

RE: Weird
By omnicronx on 7/31/2009 2:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
No.. A leaked Lenovo ISO somehow made its way to a chinese forum in which the master OEM-SLP product key was extracted. It was not merely a leaked cd key.

The master key is used to generate keys for OEM's, so MS just got lucky that OEMs have yet to generate any of these keys so they just blacklisted the master. Once they do generate these keys the same process can be done again, but MS won't be able to stop it.

Upgrade existing computer?
By Davelo on 7/31/2009 7:26:00 PM , Rating: 1
The article says:
Microsoft hopes the competitive price offers will convince users to upgrade their existing computers to Windows 7

So how is this pig going to run on my P3 1ghz and 256mb?

RE: Upgrade existing computer?
By Xenoterranos on 7/31/2009 7:51:59 PM , Rating: 5
That's a good question. I don't think anyone's ever gotten a pig to run on a dinosaur before.

RE: Upgrade existing computer?
By Fritzr on 8/1/2009 6:53:32 AM , Rating: 3
The same way they did with '95, '98/98SE. ME, 2k, XP and Vista.

Tell you the recommended minimum specs and let YOU decide if you want to install on your existing hardware, upgrade your existing hardware to better fit the new requirements or retire the old hardware. Dell, Gateway, HP et. al. would prefer you to go with new hardware, but if you want to run the new OS on hardware that doesn't meet the minimums, Microsoft will allow you to try.

You also have the option of skipping Win7 because your existing hardware/OS combination is still getting the job done. In fact this is the lowest cost option even though you won't normally find it listed as an "upgrade" option :P

Mac upgrade
By Brazos on 8/1/2009 12:37:02 AM , Rating: 2
Does Apple with OSX do this same type of upgrade with license keys etc?

RE: Mac upgrade
By sebmel on 8/2/2009 8:47:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yes Apple does family packs. There's a difference though in that the Apple family pack are for 5 licenses, whereas Microsoft are offering 3.

Amazon prices:
Mac OS X 10.5, Five Full licenses (not just upgrade) $125

No serial number, no authentication.

RE: Mac upgrade
By rdeegvainl on 8/3/2009 1:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
* The Family Pack Software License Agreement allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple software on up to a maximum of five (5) Apple-labeled computers at a time as long as those computers are located in the same household and used by persons who occupy that household. By “household” we mean a person or persons who share the same housing unit such as a home, apartment, mobile home, or condominium, including student members who are primary residents of that household but reside at a separate on-campus location. This license does not extend to business or commercial users.

$199 and only for apple computers...

Here's hoping for DRM improvements.
By Earthmonger on 8/1/2009 1:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have Vista, so I can't say it's still this way, but XP Pro's DRM has seriously pissed me off time and time again. I pray Win7 has more logical DRM. With XP Pro:
- I had to validate the damned OS every time I changed any major component in the computer. (six to seven times)
- The license limits the number of times you can install the OS. If I pay for a god damned full retail version, I expect it to work forever. I reformat twice a year. Getting told "You have exceeded your maximum installation limit" after two years is BS. After that you can no longer validate via internet; you have to call their support line, speak to a live M$ representative, and plead with them to validate your install.

Maintaining a legal copy of the OS became a miserable experience. I finally broke down and cracked the damn thing.

I hope Win7 is better. And that M$ doesn't require an internet connection, as the recent trend with other software has been. Lots of headaches installing games with that one.

Sadly, since I never bought into Vista, I'll have to buy a full retail copy again.

RE: Here's hoping for DRM improvements.
By amandahugnkiss on 8/1/2009 1:39:06 PM , Rating: 1
It sounds like you have non OS related problem if you have to re-install that often, not really Microsoft's fault, more of a user error. Notice the lack of the stupid m-dollar sign, Microsoft makes a product that controls your entire hardware config, Microsoft is a publicly traded company, they are not greedy simply because they charge what they charge for their OS, this is regardless of what the ridiculous end user consesus on the internet says or wants, a lot of shit costs money, usually more than most people want to pay for some given product, get over it.

On the upgrade, you don't need a full copy of Win7, there is an upgrade path from XP to Win7, it'll be the equivalent of a clean install, which it sounds like you'll be better off with.

How did you 'crack' it?

By Earthmonger on 8/1/2009 2:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I'm not complaining about the pricing. $300 or so for something I will use over the course of several years isn't a bad price. I am simply wary of the DRM used in the past.

My reinstallations were not related to hardware malfunctions. Oddly enough, the OS disappears when you wipe your hard drive, and I do that regularly because it is the only way to truly remove the registry in full.

The problems began to occur when I had exceeded the idiotic maximum number of installs, which was five if memory serves, necessitating a phone call and Q&A session with a M$ rep to get re-validated. This was further exacerbated by being required to re-validate my install every time I did something so simple as swapping my cpu out, switching motherboards, upgrading ram, etc. XP assumed it was a completely new machine, which it was not, and prompted yet another call to M$.

As for the method I used to finally crack it, I don't believe I'm ignorant enough to go in-depth about that here.

To upgrade from my copy of XP Pro, I would have to reinstall it yet again, and again go through the retarded validation process I successfully rid myself of several years ago. I'd rather avoid that by buying a full version of Win 7. Especially now that I no longer live in the US.

I do wish I could find their volume licensing information for Win7. I do not plan to buy two full copies of Win 7, for my wife and I. But it seems the info is hiding.

PS, if my use of "M$" bothers you, get over it.

Version Upgrade
By temporalillusion on 7/31/2009 3:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
There's prices going from Home Premium to Professional, and Home Premium to Ultimate, but is there one to go from Professional to Ultimate? I've preordered Professional in the hopes that the upgrade to Ultimate will be cheap if I need it (the retail price diff is only what, $20), since there was no preorder for Ultimate.

Good step Microsoft
By Belard on 7/31/2009 4:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
Its the best deal MS has ever done with Windows, ever.

I'm betting that Apple's pricing is effecting it (Hey, MS - why don't you have family paks?) and the strong desire to get Vista and especially WindowsXP users to upgrade.

Also, I think the very strong sales of Win7 upgrade for $50 a few weeks ago had a huge hand at this as well.

Since Windows7 does ACTUALLY run pretty good on well-made 3-4 year old computers with 1~2GB of RAM, they are able to run Windows7 unlike Vista.

But Microsoft should always sell the upgrade DVD of their OS for $50 (Home)and $100 (Pro). They'd get more PRO users if they had such a deal for XP-Pro/Vista-Biz users... but at these prices, many of us will just use the HOME version.

The retail version of Win7 Home should be $100, instead of $200... they would be NICE for those who build their own computers... rather than having them to deal with some of the limitations of the $100 OEM versions. Obviously, large PC companies are only paying about $30~40 per licenses for Win7.

Come'on MS - Retail version, $100... doesn't that sound nice?

By zzdinko on 8/1/2009 9:36:28 AM , Rating: 1
LOL, Microsoft is just way too full of themselves.


I love this
By Belard on 7/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: I love this
By Belard on 7/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: I love this
By Belard on 7/31/09, Rating: -1
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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