updated 06:10 pm EDT, Mon October 4, 2010
Windows 7 Family Pack returns for limited run
Microsoft hoped to rekindle interest in Windows 7 this weekend by reinstituting the Windows 7 Family Pack. As before, the deal gives a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium with licenses for three PCs. US customers can order the pack today for $150, while international buyers will need to wait until the one-year anniversary of the software's October 22 launch to get access.
All launches are limited and will only continue "while supplies last," Microsoft said.
The move likely comes as Microsoft is still trying to get many users away from Windows XP. A recent study of market share from NetApplications revealed that about 66 percent of all Windows use online, or 60 percent of all web traffic, still comes from Windows XP systems. While not a direct reflection of the user base and possibly influenced by corporate traffic, the high turnout suggests that much of the Windows base is still tied to the 2001-era release.
Among the factors, Microsoft has had to contend well-recognized reluctance from corporate buyers to upgrade to an OS incompatible with some apps and often more demanding than older PCs can support. Those in the developing world also often replace PCs less often or have opted for cheaper netbooks and nettops still running XP. Few major apps require any Windows version later than XP.