If you’re thinking of picking up a heavily discounted three-pack of Windows 7 Home Premium, don’t delay. According to the product listing at Amazon.com, sales of this product will end on New Year’s Eve.
Microsoft offered this exact same package as a limited-time offer in 2009. Here’s what I wrote about it at the time at ZDNet:
If you have two or more PCs in your home and you want to upgrade them to Windows 7, this deal is for you. This package is only available in a physical box and (according to Microsoft) only for a limited time. It includes two DVDs: one copy each of the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade installation media. You get a single product key that can be activated on up to three different PCs.
The license says you can install Family Pack upgrades on up to three PCs in the same household, for use by residents of that household. When I asked Microsoft whether it was OK to use this license in a home business, I was told, officially, “There is no restriction around use of a license for business purposes conducted within the home,” although naturally they recommended Windows 7 Professional for those situations.
Nothing in the license prevents you from mixing and matching the 32-bit and 64-bit versions on up to three PCs in your household. But no, you can’t share licenses with your neighbor or your cousin in Peoria.
The list price of this package is $150, but you can buy it now at Amazon.com for an even more deeply discounted $125: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack (3-User). If you use all three licenses, that’s an average cost of roughly $42 each, well below the regular upgrade cost of $120. Even if you only use two of the three licenses, it’s still a substantial savings.