Copies of the Windows 7 Family Pack, which includes three upgrade licenses for Windows 7 Home Premium, are becoming harder to find in the United States, both in retail stores and online. The offer, announced by Microsoft in July and offered for $150, was said to be “while supplies last,” but I don’t think anyone was expecting supplies to run so low so soon.
Microsoft issued a brief statement about the shortage of copies:
“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. “
This is bad for consumers, especially as the holiday season approaches in the midst of the recession – late shoppers may find themselves out of luck if they attempt to purchase the Family Pack as a gift.
It’s also bad in a general sense, as it eliminates the most reasonably-priced Windows 7 upgrade from Microsoft’s product lineup. I know that business is business and you have to do what’s best for the bottom line, but this leaves the cheapest Windows 7 upgrade option sitting at $119 for an upgrade pack of Windows 7 Home Premium. OEM copies of the OS are slightly cheaper, sitting around $100, but that’s still twice as expensive as a Family Pack license and not technically legal for individuals, besides. All of a sudden, Windows 7 is a slightly harder sell – not something Microsoft needs.
Microsoft has said in the past that it might make the Family Pack a more permanent offering depending on consumer response, but they’ve said nothing to indicate that they plan on replenishing supplies. Tell us how you feel about this situation in the comments section!