Microsoft to Offer Vista 'Family Pack' Discount for Ultimate

Please keep in mind that the source of this news posting is a blog. Microsoft has not officially announced or commented on the discount. Mary Jo Foley blogged: "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."

Only if you purchase a retail a copy of Vista Ultimate ($399 USD) do you qualify for the "Family Pack" promotion. Let me emphasize that again: retail does not mean OEM. As a part of the Windows Anytime Upgrade marketing plan, a user would be able to use the Vista Ultimate DVD to install the Home Premium licenses on the additional computers. These "sources", however, cannot agree on the price of an additional copy: either $49.95 or $99.95. Even if it is the latter, that's still over twice as cheap (Home Premium retails at $240).

Let's do some basic math, shall we? If you purchase Ultimate and two additional Home Premium copies, you will be paying $600. That is much cheaper than buying 3 x Home Premium which would leave you dishing out $720. And you get Ultimate. However, you'll need at least 3 computers in the household that are Vista-ready or you won't really be saving much.

Full story: ZDNet Blog (via Bink)

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows Vista Boot Logo Generator 1.1

Next Story

iSkin your Smartphone

46 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

phantasmorph said,
No. Not in any way, shape or form.

^ What he said. Longhorn 4xxx given 2 years more development? Perhaps. Vista as it is at RTM? No way.

Too bad I got Vista business free from microsoft and home premium free from dell.

I dont need ultimate, or i can just upgrade one of those versions.

But all the Ultimate extras will either be hacked to run on other versions, or will have third part equivalents anyway.

Irrelevant. Both are overpriced in today's market.

When XP came out, PCs were still $2,000, so a 10% (re: $200) premium on that kind of purchase was not disproportionate.

Today, PCs are $500, $1,000 TOPS with all the trimmings.

$400 on a piece of hardware that only costs $400 (I'm subtracting XP OEM's pricetag from today's machine) is absolutely ABSURD.

It cost 10 cents to burn the disk and we don't even get manuals with any Microsoft OS...ahem.

excalpius said,
Irrelevant. Both are overpriced in today's market.

When XP came out, PCs were still $2,000, so a 10% (re: $200) premium on that kind of purchase was not disproportionate.

Today, PCs are $500, $1,000 TOPS with all the trimmings.

$400 on a piece of hardware that only costs $400 (I'm subtracting XP OEM's pricetag from today's machine) is absolutely ABSURD.

It cost 10 cents to burn the disk and we don't even get manuals with any Microsoft OS...ahem.


$1,000 TOPS with all the trimmings? Configure me a PC (uber gaming system) with "all the trimmings" for $1,000 and I'll buy you as many copies of Vista as you want. Get real. You cannot necessarily equate hardware price drops with software price drops. If that were true the full blown Adobe Photoshop or the full blown AutoCAD would cost what, $50 for a full retail version on a store shelf? The hardware and software industries both operate differently.

Unbelievable.

Everyone complains that if you want to install Windows in a house that has more than a few PCs and you have to pay a fortune.

Now MS (apparently, lets not forget that this is unconfirmed) is offering an option that saves money on as little as 3 PCs, and STILL you all complain.

$400 (for Ultimate) isn't that expensive really. It's not like you're going to be running it on a $400 PC that you knocked together out of spare pieces and duct-tape. Also, given that you'll probably be running it for about 3 years (until the next Windows) that works out at $0.36c a day. You could easily pick that much up off the streets!

It's because it still expensive! We're talking about actually buying vista here. With XP, most people had it with their pcs anyway, or got a really cheap oem.
700 is expensive1

Julius Caro said,
It's because it still expensive! We're talking about actually buying vista here. With XP, most people had it with their pcs anyway, or got a really cheap oem.
700 is expensive1

The same still holds true. About 90%+ of all Vista licenses will be sold with a new computer. It's pretty much only us geeks that will be upgrading our Windows.

Slugsie said,
The same still holds true. About 90%+ of all Vista licenses will be sold with a new computer. It's pretty much only us geeks that will be upgrading our Windows.

True, but what will be the OS that comes preinstalled? I am betting it won't be ultimate. Just like most preinstalls of XP were Home and, to some extent, MCE.

IMHO, this offer should not be made with Ultimate, but with Home Premium and in case a user wish to purchase additional Home Basic licenses. Then they'll have one feature rich home version in the household and some others more limited ones. The price for these would be far more appealing too, than equipping your household with Vista for $600.

I'm surprised MS doesn't focus more on the Home editions... for regular home users... It makes sense, but of course not for a company wishing to milk their users of the money they're worth. The main reason behind the surprising number of editions compared to competing operating systems and distros.

Home Basic is a stupid waster of time and resources. That should be a nearly FREE upgrade from any XP license, just to promote the better security model across all modern PCs. NO OEM is going to be bundling a NON AERO version of Vista on any machine they sell, and everyone damn well knows it.

Home Premium is what MS intended as the OEM install. With all the marketing MS will be doing for Vista, the only thing it can show for Vista is the stuff that only comes with Ultimate (and to a lesser extent, Premium).

Instead of bait and switch, just release Ultimate, Microsoft. The other versions are a complete and utter waste of everyone's time and energy.

Gee M$ thanks for nothing.
Unless M$ drops it's price, they are still going to have a battle royale against the pirates, one they will lose, no matter
how much they DRM/validate/activate/WGA the stupid thing.

Maybe if you grew up and realize that wirint MS witha $ doesn't make you cool, just an annoying MS anti fanbo.

Then maybe you could see that you only need Home premium and even you could probably afford the OEM version of that, or the Upgrade, afterall, you DID pay for your windows XP, didn't you ?

I actually suspect that for MS you pirating Vista is the next best thing to buying it. Now of course they would prefer to have your money for the software but MS's success with windows is largely driven by the fact it has the market share and programs. Even if alot of people are pirating it it's better for MS than they move to Linux in the end of the day as it keeps developers on Windows and MS will make the money back in other avenues.

I've never felt MS was really all that serious about taking on pirates for the above reason. They do take steps but at the same time they never seem to attack the issue too aggressively. Anyway for every pirate theres probably another dozen or so mums and dads buying their system through Dell who wouldnt know what a torrent is who are unknowingly paying for Windows as part of the cost of their new system.

I am no Microsoft hater by any means, but I have to say this is pretty ridiculous. You either get Ultimate and have a good computing experience (which requires getting a second mortgage), or get Basic and you can want to throw the computer out the window. Even if you just get Premium you're still paying a large amount of money! I really think they've done a bad job with the pricing of this OS... and I really don't see any justification on their part for the steep prices.

Others OS's aside, there really isn't any competition to Windows and Microsoft can charge what they want because of it. The consumer also shouldn't have to pick up the tab for Microsoft's mismanagement of the Longhorn project. That is precisely what's happening. They screw up, wast R&D money, scrap the project twice and the consumer gets stuck with the bill.

I dont think the consumer is picking up any "tabs" so to speak. In the end Vista is pretty much priced as XP is now, with the exception of Ultimate which obviously doesnt have an XP counterpart. If thats a ripoff so be it, but really its no more of a ripoff than XP is or isnt currently.

Vista has a counterpart. It's called OSX with (superior mind you) iLife applications built in. Even I'm considering buying an Apple computer the next time around at this rate. Pathetic segmentation between too many overpriced versions and now a quite weak "family pricing" offer.

Microsoft, I really appreciate the fact that SOMEONE is clearly listening to us about these (and previous issues). But we all know the only reason you are doing it is because Vista isn't very compelling to us or the consumer right now. You need all the help you can get...and we all know it.

If you REALLY want Vista to get us (and the consumer) excited, just release ONE version, Ultimate, because the new interface and the cool live video wallpaper extra is about the only thing anyone is going to see and go OOOH COOL! Not every Mac user uses each of the iLife apps, but they like the fact that they CAN if they want to. Do the same with Vista.

Drop the price and provide a workable, affordable family plan.

Be the good guys...for ONCE in recent memory. :)

People might just use the extra money to buy your security suite, or to upgrade even marginal old computers, etc. I know I would.

But as it stands now, when I buy a new computer, IF it's a PC (a bigger IF every day), it will have Vista Ultimate. All the rest of my score of computers will all be staying on XP, thank you very much. You're going to get one fat license fee from me - when you could have gotten a score of thinner fees which would have added up to more money in your pockets...ahem.

MrCobra said,
Others OS's aside, there really isn't any competition to Windows and Microsoft can charge what they want because of it. The consumer also shouldn't have to pick up the tab for Microsoft's mismanagement of the Longhorn project. That is precisely what's happening. They screw up, wast R&D money, scrap the project twice and the consumer gets stuck with the bill.

This is SO true. Longhorn as it was mid-2004 had real potential (OK, so there are many many more changes under the hood with Vista than LH 4xxx, but given 2 years I'm sure something could have been done about that). It's just such a shame that there are now so many levels of management and bureaucracy that little truly effective gets made.

excalpius said,
...
If you REALLY want Vista to get us (and the consumer) excited, just release ONE version, Ultimate, because the new interface and the cool live video wallpaper extra is about the only thing anyone is going to see and go OOOH COOL! Not every Mac user uses each of the iLife apps, but they like the fact that they CAN if they want to. Do the same with Vista.

Drop the price and provide a workable, affordable family plan.

Be the good guys...for ONCE in recent memory. :)
...


I completely agree with this as well - Macs are getting even more tempting to me too, especially since MSFT's price tags for software seem to be heading more towards Apple's for both hardware and software...

It's a great shame that MSFT seem to be over-milking their greatest cash cow... If it weren't for OEMs and PCs having Vista pre-installed, surely setting prices like they are would have backfired at least once by now...

L3thal said,
Not a bad deal at all.

You can't be serious?

Microsoft really has lost it's mind with Vista IMHO. As if the DRM shenanigans isn't enough, they charge absurd amounts for their crippleware.

I'll be sticking with XP thanks. I hope it flops, they deserve it.

It's not a bad deal. noone forces you to get ultimate, in fact, hardly anyone needs ultimate.
But for those who DO get ultimate (the family tech guy) they can also buy two home premium (the regular choice) for a heavily discounted price.

How is this NOT a good deal.

once you get past yoru brused ego that youdon't need ultimate

With those prices i will have to stick to linux, my dad wouldnt even spend $500 CAD one a computer that would barely cover the os and the drive to put the disk into.

There just milking it for all its worth delay it for so long and the still charge huge prices terrible.

Technically, it really is. If MS was going to release ONE OS, like Apple seems to be quite capable or doing (ahem), then it would be Vista Ultimate. That is the version all the commercials will be showing. All the Extras features, etc. will be for Ultimate only.

MS is leaving the door wide open for Apple to sell an OS to the broad PC market.

After all, they've already made it desireable NOT to upgrade to Vista, re: just buy a new computer with Vista pre-installed in a few months. So, they've already given the consumer a serious opportunity to switch to an Apple computer instead of buying a new PC with Vista.

I don't think it is wise for MS to pretend that Apple doesn't exist in this space. After all, Microsoft's huge market cap was built on selling software. Jobs knows this as well as anyone.

Do you even hear yourself talk?

There are many editions of Vista, not just one. Whether Apple makes different editions is irrelevant.

Second, Apple will never sell an OS to the PC market. Why do you think they've made it illegal to install OS X on PC's? Because they want total control over the hardware and software. You can't have that in the PC world.

Third, if you think Microsoft made it undesirable to upgrade to Vista then you don't comprehend how business works. Lesson 1: Companies don't develop products and then discourage people from buying them.

Finally, Microsoft has never claimed that Apple doens't exist. Apple provides some competition but with Apple it's all or none, you can't have just the software, you have to have Apple hardware to run it, too. And yes, Microsoft is a software comapny, and their business was built by... yep, making and selling software. What's the point of mentioning that?

$400 is quite expensive for an operating system, but at least getting three copies of Ultimate will save you some money, compared to three copies of Home Premium.

Oh that's LAME. So factor in another $100 each for those other two machines to upgrade to Ultimate and how much are we really saving here? I mean, who's going to want to have to decide whether Jr or Dad or...gets the good Vista seat and who get's the other two crappy versions?

i think that you should be able install upto say 4 computers with a home version, but you pay a little more. ill like that alot better. M$ are about to make some nice money.

No doubt. MS is making it hard to justify not pirating the OS. $400 Ultimate should cover up to three systems or at the very least, allow additional licenses to be purchased for the lower $49.95 and I dont mean each. When will MS ever wake up and become more consumer friendly without raping our wallets?

they spent a ****load on R&D so they deserve to at least break even. and piracy is not the solution my friend. not a good thing to resort to. XP is still pretty good for me so im gonna stick with that until i can get Vista OEM.

faraaz said,
they spent a ****load on R&D so they deserve to at least break even. and piracy is not the solution my friend. not a good thing to resort to. XP is still pretty good for me so im gonna stick with that until i can get Vista OEM.

They are hardly not going to break even :P They make enough on the corp customers alone. They should try to boost sales in the retail market which currently isn't very big (Most people just get a new PC with it on)
If it only cost say £30 for another license I think more legal buyers would buy extra's rather than one copy and just pirating it on other machines

they spent a ****load on R&D so they deserve to at least break even.

Are you kidding me? I agree with you that no company deserves to lose money, but quite frankly Microsoft have been making their money back AND THEN SOME for a very very long time. I'd feel a pang of sympathy if they were pumping money into making great products and barely making a return, but lets not forget just how wealthy Microsoft as a company is.

I personally feel they'd sell a lot more copies of Vista at retail if they adopted the pricing model that everyone else is writing about!

I wish they'd follow the Apple pricing scheme for Vista - this new offer is pathetic in comparison to what Apple already offer with OS X family packs (and pricing in general).

I agree that sounds smarter, especially since this seems to be a retail deal. In which case people will more than likely already use Windows XP.

What does simply 1 Ultimate upgrade with 2 Premium upgrades cost?