Category Archives: Windows

Windows 7 Family Pack Licence ?

My friend Kristen Kenny has uncovered an interesting licensing clause for Windows 7 Home Premium known as a “Family Pack” licence. This licence allows a single copy of Windows 7 Home Premium on up to 3 computers in a single household.

Below is a quote from the licence terms from the latest build of Windows 7 Home Premium.

a. One Copy per Computer. Except as allowed in Section 2 (b) below, you may install one copy of the software on one computer. That computer is the “licensed computer.”

b. Family Pack. If you are a “Qualified Family Pack User”, you may install one copy of the software marked as “Family Pack” on three computers in your household for use by people who reside there. Those computers are the “licensed computers” and are subject to these license terms. If you do not know whether you are a Qualified Family Pack User, visit or contact the Microsoft affiliate serving your country.

c. Licensed Computer. You may use the software on up to two processors on the licensed computer at one time. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, you may not use the software on any other computer.

d. Number of Users. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, only one user may use the software at a time.

e. Alternative Versions. The software may include more than one version, such as 32-bit and 64-bit. You may install and use only one version at one time.

I personally find this potentially useful and hope the idea does bare fruit to allow me to cheaply upgrade my family to Windows 7 Home Premium at Christmas 🙂

Microsoft Outlines Windows 7 “Upgrade Option Program” for OEM PC’s

Microsoft has officially announced the Windows 7 “Upgrade Option Program” for Home and Small Businesses when they purchase a qualifying computer with Windows Vista from June 26th.

Under the program, designated PCs pre-installed with “premium versions” of Windows Vista will qualify for licenses of the equivalent Windows 7 product.

“There is a lot of excitement for Windows 7 in the marketplace today. However, many consumers need a new Windows PC for school, work or home before October 22,” said Brad Brooks, corporate vice president, Windows consumer marketing at Microsoft. “So starting June 26th, any customer who buys a PC from a participating computer maker or retailer with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate will also receive an upgrade to the corresponding version of Window 7 at little or no cost.”

Under the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program, the following Windows Vista versions will correspond to the following Windows 7 upgrade equivalents:

Windows Vista Home Premium -> Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows Vista Business -> Windows 7 Professional
Windows Vista Ultimate -> Windows 7 Ultimate

Computers pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Basic are not eligible for the “Upgrade Option Program”.

Microsoft releases Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 SP2

Microsoft has now released the standalone installer for Service Pack 2 on the Microsoft Download Centre.

There are some things to know and one of the warnings is of you have used “vLite” to customise the installation, you may have removed required system components which prevent Service Pack 2 from installing. Microsoft has a workaround for this issue.

Service Pack 2 is due to hit Windows Update in the next few weeks but if you want to install it today here are the download links below.

32bit Download and 64bit Download

Get ready for Vista and Win2008 SP2

Just a heads up to prepare for Windows Vista  and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2. It will be available in the coming weeks on the Download Center (DLC) and also through Windows Update and WSUS. On April 28th, we announced the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. SP2 includes all updates that were released since SP1. It also includes support for new types of hardware and other technology improvements. For more information on the changes with SP2, see the notable changes document on TechNet.

Here’s a short list of the tools and guidance that’s available for SP2:

Source: Microsoft Update blog

Windows 7 Release Candidate

Microsoft has now publically made the Windows 7 Release Candidate available. Below straight from the download page is some information that you will need to know before you try it out.

  • You don’t need to rush to get the RC. The RC will be available at least through July 2009 and we’re not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.
  • Watch the calendar. The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, you’ll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You’ll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use. (Learn more about installing Windows.)
  • Protect your PC and data. Be sure to back up your data and please don’t test the RC on your primary home or business PC.
  • Tech details/updates: Before installing the RC, please read the Release Notes and Things to Know for important information about the release.
  • Keep up with the news. You can keep up with general technical information and news by following the team blog. And, you can get non-technical news, tips, and offers by subscribing to the monthly Exploring Windows newsletter.
  • Keep your PC updated: Be sure to turn on automatic updates in Windows Update in case we publish updates for the RC.
  • Installation: You can install the Windows 7 RC on a PC running Windows Vista without backing up the PC—but we encourage you to make a backup for safe keeping. If you’re running Windows XP or the Windows 7 Beta, you’ll need to backup your data, then do a clean installation of the RC, then reinstall your applications and restore your data. If you need to do a backup, please see How to back up your PC for more details and a suggestion for how to backup a PC running Windows 7 Beta or Windows Vista.

To start obtain your copy click here to go to the download page. TechNet users can find their download here.

Windows Vista SP2 RTM

Today we are announcing the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. SP2 represents the latest step in Microsoft’s commitment to continuous improvement. It includes all updates that have been delivered since SP1, as well as support for new types of hardware and emerging hardware standards.

As we have mentioned before, here are some of the key benefits of Windows Vista SP2:

  • Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches
  • Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology
  • Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista
  • Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration
  • Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.

And since it comes with a single installer for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, SP2 will be easy for IT Pros to manage, deploy, and support. For a complete overview of the changes introduced in SP2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, check out the notable changes document on TechNet.

Continues at Source:

Virtual XP for Windows 7 Beta released to MSDN and TechNet

According to Paul Thurrott, a beta version of Virtual XP for Windows 7 has been released to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

The download comes in two parts. The first is KB958559, an update for Windows 7 that includes Windows Virtual PC for Windows 7. The second, is another exe that installs the Windows XP with SP3 virtual machine itself.

To run Virtual XP Mode, users must be running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate with preferably 2GB of RAM with at least 256MB available to virtualization, and a processor that supports hardware virtualization. Many times hardware virtualization needs to be enabled in the BIOS to be functional.

The bits for the RC was released to MSDN, TechNet and Connect memebrs today. A public beta of Virtual XP for Windows 7 is expected to be released to the public May 5, the same time Windows 7 RC will be released to the public.

More Windows 7 Release Candidate details revealed

Just a day after Paul Thurrott revealed ‘Windows XP Mode‘ for Windows 7, he has come out and posted a few more interesting details about the upcoming release.

Here are the following pieces of information he revealed, which he’s “pretty sure this is all new info.”

AAC/H.264/MPEG-2 support will not be provided to Windows 7 Home Basic and Starter customers. That functionality will only go out to Home Premium, Professional, and Enterprise/Ultimate users. But it looks like there will be add-ons made available (free or paid, it’s not clear) to users of low-end Windows 7 versions.

Maximum RAM. All 32-bit versions of Windows 7 “support” 4 GB of RAM, of course. But if you go 64-bit, you can add up to 8 GB in Home Basic and Starter, 16 GB in Home Premium, and 192 GB in Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate.

Windows Media Player Remote Media Experience (RME) is not available in Windows 7 Home Basic or Starter. However, all versions can share media over a home network.

All Windows 7 SKUs support 20 simultaneous SMB connections. This works out to 10 users, apparently.

XP Mode. As we first revealed yesterday, only Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate are licensed to install XP Mode.”

Nothing too major, but they’re all good things to know.

News source:

Windows 7 Release Candidate Update

There certainly has been a lot of discussion about Windows 7 in the last few weeks. A lot of folks want to know when they can get their hands on the official RC, when we are going to RTM, and what I had for breakfast.

I’m pleased to share that the RC is on track for April 30th for  download by MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Broader, public availability will begin on May 5th.

On behalf of everyone here, I would to thank all of our beta testers for helping us get to this point. You guys have been busy. At the peak of the feedback cycle, we were receiving a “Send Feedback” report every 15 seconds for an entire week. Since then, the engineering team has been busy analyzing the feedback, fixing bugs, and working hard to improve the overall experience. Many of your suggestions helped us refine the new and improved taskbar, the behavior of Aero Peek, Touch, Windows Media Player, and much more. In case you have missed the previous E7 blog entry outlining some of these changes in detail, you can read about them here and here.

Be sure to check back with us next week… And by the way, I had eggs for breakfast 🙂