June 28, 2007 10:54 AM PDT

Microsoft ending Vista family discount

Five months after its introduction, Microsoft is discontinuing a program that offered some Windows Vista purchasers the ability to buy additional copies of the operating system at a substantial discount.

Since Windows Vista went on sale to consumers at the end of January, U.S. and Canadian buyers of Vista Ultimate have had the option of buying up to two additional copies of Vista--albeit the Home Premium version--for an additional $50 apiece. The company had said it would re-evaluate the "Windows Vista Family Discount" after June 30.

In a posting on the Windows Vista Team Blog, Microsoft product manager Nick White said the program would "sunset" as of 11:59 p.m. PDT on June 30.

"Around the time of the Windows Vista launch, we announced the Windows Vista Family Discount program to further persuade families to become early adopters of Windows Vista," White wrote. "We've been pleased with the response to the program, which has enabled thousands of multicomputer families to upgrade more than one PC in their home to Windows Vista."

The move immediately drew the ire of some users, who posted responses to White's posting.

"This really sucks," a poster by the username of Hartelc wrote on the site. "I thought it was bad enough that we have to pay $50 for an additional license to get a downgraded version of (Vista)."

White responded in a follow-up posting: "Sorry you're disappointed with the program and its pricing structure. This was a trial for us to see how people responded to the offer, and we've gotten lots of constructive (criticism) as to how we could make it better if we were to do it again in (the) future."

Another poster pointed out that the program Microsoft is ending falls well short of what Apple offers with Mac OS X, allowing up to five Macs in a home to use the same upgrade version of the Mac OS for $199. Apple has offered that option since 2002.

Microsoft has a separate program, carried over from Windows XP, that gives purchasers of Windows a 10 percent discount on up to five additional licenses. No end date has been set for that program.

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17 comments

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Exactly.
I didn?t even know about this ?family discount? until I read this
article, but it immediately reminded me of the Mac OS X Family
Pack. I purchased the Tiger Family Pack back in 2005 and will be
purchasing the Leopard Family Pack as soon as it comes out. It?s
just a great deal!
Posted by the Otter (247 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's probably coming back...
just not with the same requirements.

I wouldn't be surprised to see MS offer 3-5 machine family packs for Home Basic / Home Premium, but not with Ultimate as the first seat.

The other package we're likely to see is a bundle that included 3-5 client keys and one Home Server install.
Posted by webdev511 (254 comments )
Link Flag
If you think it costs too much, Just don't buy it.
It's not like your gonna miss out on much if you don't get your kids computer upgraded to Vista right away. It's basically the same crap, just they moved stuff around to confuse you into believing its new and better. The sidebar, well it just ain't worth 200 smackers.

I'm sure there are some reasons to upgrade but unless you are some hard core gamer I'd just wait until you buy a new computer and buy it preloaded. That's the best deal. And if you are a hard core gamer you're gonna want the new system anyway.
Posted by stlwest (72 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nope, no reason
Not even for gamers.

Gamers do not need an OS that sucks even more hardware away from the apps.

It will be years before DX10 titles show up in any meaningful numbers, and by then even MS will have abandoned this garbage.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
Another effort to prop up Vista revenues
The truth is coming out... Vista sales aren't nearly so great as M$ has claimed, so now they're scrounging to prop up those b.s. figures and their p.o.s. product.
Posted by hounddoglgs (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Or...
they really are as good as they say and they've decided to gouge families for every dime they can squeeze out of them.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
Discount.
Sure take away the discount on an already extremely overprice OS. =P

I would pay for Vista Ultimate what Apple charges for a brand spanking new copy of the Mac OS X (which if I'm not mistaken is $129). Anything more is monopoly tax.

And just so we don't have to go through this I am exercising my right to not buy it and I'm also exercising my right to talk smack about it.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thought Macs were expensive? Not compared to Vista!
Microsoft is worse than the old Apple with expensive Vista and < 1% overall marketshare of Zune.

Speaking of has the Vista install base surpassed Windows 98 yet?
Posted by rcardona2k (318 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you kidding?
In 48 hours, the installed base of iPhone owners will have
surpassed Vista sales
;-)
Posted by GGGlen (491 comments )
Link Flag
A Better Question!
Maybe you should be asking "has apple pc market share bypassed windows 98 yet?".

Vista will be successful, it is guaranteed with practically every new computer being sold running Vista.

Also though, I don't think it is fair to compare OS X pricing to Vista. Apple is a hardware manufacture first and a software company second. Apple's computers have a hefty premium on them and hence why they can afford to practically "give" OS X upgrades away.

And while $400 for Vista ultimate is extremely expensive, you can buy the exact same OS for $200 if you buy OEM and forgo the pretty box and the ability to activate the copy more than two or three times.
Posted by hybris06 (66 comments )
Link Flag
Of Course They Are...
Chah Ching!
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft is nervous. I meen really nervous!
They will always say things are going well. They have to.
Fact: The word is out and people are not buying in record numbers. Its all the venders that are stuck with big piles of licenses.

Fact: Those who bought Vista are not really 100 percent happy with it and many are just to confused as to how to work it. I do know about this I get a lot of calls about it.

Fact: Buisness is also not very happy with the Office 2007 and Vista both along with Microsofts Licensing procedures.

Fact: It is true that many people are starting to look at the Macintosh as an alternative.

Fact: But a great amount of people are looking into various Linux Distros as a better alternative (you can't beat the price).

Fact: Microsoft does know all of the above and concerning linux are preparing to do the dirtbag thing by attempting to crush it by decree.

Fact: Microsoft will fail in that attempt, the same as the music industry is failing into nonexistence in their attempts to crush the piratecy. The music industry could have saved its self by making their products affordable to all people.

Fact: If Microsoft lowered their price they could probably save their own neck.

Fact: Keeping useability in mind, Windows XP is by far a better operating system then Vista!

Nuff said.
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agreed!
But I would go a step further and say they are scared. There is nothing within Vista that justifies its price tag.


I am impressed with Apple's family pricing. Even more I'm impressed with the fact that many small software developers are following Apple's lead and offering "family" pricing for their products.
Posted by rjpotts (70 comments )
Link Flag
If this was about Apple...
...the fanboys would be saying that you have to pay more for a better product.

But, unlike Apple fanboys, I can insult a company I like. I think this discount scheme was lame from the start, and I don't really care that it has gone. I think the MacOS family deal is much better, but since I don't want to buy BSD with a new GUI I will stick with Windows.
Posted by Siegfried Schtauffen (269 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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