Windows licenses are expensive. They are even more expensive when we have to upgrade multiple licenses in our homes. Last week when I was at the Microsoft Vista Lab in Vegas, we learned about a new licensing plan called the Friends & Family Upgrade plan that should help to ease the pain a bit.
Currently the expected price of a Vista Ultimate upgrade license is $259.00 and the price for Vista Home Premium upgrade is $159.00. The Friends & Family upgrade plan, which runs from January 30, 2007 through June 30, 2007, allows you to purchase two licenses of Vista Home Premium upgrade for $49 each as long as you have purchased a copy of the retail Vista Ultimate upgrade license. This provides a savings of about 60% towards your Home Premium upgrade licenses. Now you may be saying, "Who cares.. I will hardly use the features of Vista Ultimate or Home Premium. Home basic is fine for me." If that's the case, then your right, this plan does not work for you. If we look at the numbers, though, we see that purchasing three copies of Vista Home Basic Upgrade would cost $297. At the same time if you purchased Ultimate and then the two Home Premium licenses your total cost would be $357 dollars. This leads to a $60 dollar difference which for some may be a great deal of money but for others may be small enough to warrant going for the extra features that Ultimate and Home premium offer. This new plan will be available when Vista is in general availability which begins on Jan 30th 2007. To use this plan a new web site has been created www.windowsvista.com/FamilyOffer
, for US and Canadian users. This site is not currently up but is expected to be live starting on the 18th. From what I understand this new plan is currently only available for US and Canadian residents.