Microsoft Confirms Windows 7 Family Pack, Announces Windows 7 RTM Release Date
Article by George Norman
On 22 Jul 2009
Rumor on the web had it that Microsoft will allow family users to install Windows 7 on up to three PCs in that user’s household via Windows 7 Family Pack. The rumor was then followed by an online leak related to how much Windows 7 Family Pack will cost you. Now all speculations are put aside as Microsoft has officially confirmed that the Windows 7 Family Pack.

Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, Brandon LeBlanc, explained: “I know there have been some rumors going around about a “family pack” for Windows 7. We have heard a lot of feedback from beta testers and enthusiasts over the last 3 years that we need a better solution for homes with multiple PCs. I’m happy to confirm that we will indeed be offering a family pack of Windows 7 Home Premium (in select markets) which will allow installation on up to 3 PCs.”


Alongside this family pack confirmation, Brandon LeBlanc explained that Windows 7 RTM will be made available for download, but actually having access to the Windows 7 RTM depends on who you are. LeBlanc basically confirmed once again what he said when he came out to announce that Windows 7 RTM will be announced in the second half of July. But what he added one crucial piece of information – precise dates.

Here’s the low down on who (and when) will get Windws

- ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor) Partners
will get Windows 7 RTM via Microsoft Connect and MSDN on the 6th of August. On the same date MSDN subscribers will be able to download the RTM – this includes IT pros, developers, and anyone else with an MSDN subscription.

- Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members will get Windows 7 RTM in English via the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal on August 16th.

- Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers will get Windows 7 RTM in English as of the 23rd of August. Additional languages will be provided as of the 1st of October.

- OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) will get Windows 7 RTM as an ISO image about 2 days after Microsoft announces the RTM.

- Volume License (VL) customers with an existing Software Assurance (SA) will get Windows 7 RTM in English as of August 7th via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). A few weeks later additional language support will be rolled out.

- Volume License (VL) customers without a Software Assurance (SA), as of September 1st, will be able to purchase Windows 7 via Volume Licensing.

Who will not get Windows 7 RTM? According to LeBlanc, just because you tested Windows 7 Beta, this does not mean you will get Windows 7 RTM for free. Microsoft is grateful for your help, but will not hand over Windows 7 RTM free of charge. Regulat customers as well will not get Windows 7 RTM; they will have to wait for the OS to reach General AVailability (GA) status to get it.

“A special thank you to our beta testers is needed for their time and effort in helping make Windows 7 a solid release. The special pre-order offer we did offering Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional at almost 50% discount was done with our beta testers in mind. And many of you jumped at the chance to take advantage of this deal – thank you! Beta testers will not automatically receive a free copy of Windows 7. Many beta testers are already subscribers to TechNet; those of you who fit that description will be able to download Windows 7 RTM shortly after RTM happens for free as part of your subscription," explained LeBlanc.

Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) continues to be available for download, free of charge, until August 15th. It will expire on june 1st, 2010, but you might want to switch to another version by March 1st, 2010. On the 1st of March Windows 7 will start a procedure meant to remind you that the OS is about to expire: it will shut down every two hours.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7 RTM, Release To Manufacturring, Windows 7 FAmily Pack
About the author: George Norman
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