When Microsoft announced its intention to offer a Windows 7 Family Pack consisting of three upgrades to Home Premium edition for $150 or less, they warned that it was a “limited time offer.” Now we know just how limited it was.
Today, barely six weeks after the public launch date on October 22, Paul Thurrott reports that stocks of the Family Pack have “disappeared” in the United States. Sure enough, when I checked at Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and Walmart this morning I found that the Family Pack stocks are gone, and scalpers have moved in. Enterprising Amazon Associates are offering copies for $260 or more. Even Bing Shopping turns up only one seller with the product in stock, at $272, which is nearly double its list price.
For Microsoft, this decision is stupid and short-sighted. It’s guaranteed to bring them a boatload of ill will and bad publicity in the final three weeks before Christmas. It looks greedy and decidedly not “customer focused.”
When I asked a Microsoft spokesperson for comment, here’s what I was told:
The Windows 7 Family Pack was introduced as a limited time offer while supplies last in select geographies. Response has been very positive and in some cases, the offer has sold out. Customers interested in upgrading their PCs should purchase Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate upgrade products.
I haven’t heard much about the Grinch lately. Now I know why. He’s been hanging out in Redmond, working on marketing plans and drafting statements for the press.