Microsoft makes second push to upgrade households to Windows 7

In a sign that Windows 7 sales may be beginning to falter somewhat, Microsoft on Wednesday announced that it would be bringing back its Windows 7 Family Pack discount program. The offer gives multi-computer households the opportunity to upgrade three PCs to Windows 7 Home Premium.

The deal is available beginning October 3 at a price of $149.99. This is a considerable savings over individual upgrades: a single copy of Home Premium alone retails for $129.99. It is unclear when the promotion would end, although Microsoft began pulling last year's offer in December.

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Statistics from IDC indicate that the average household has at least two computers, so it's not out of the question that reintroducing the offering could accelerate operating system sales for Microsoft once again.

Selling the family pack likely helped Microsoft escalate Windows 7 adoption, while at the same time giving it a crucial revenue stream in an overall tough economy for the technology sector. About 175 million licenses have been sold to date according to the company.

Its reintroduction could also signal that adoption is beginning to slow again. According to statistics firm Net Applications, 15.87 percent of all Internet surfers were running Windows 7, versus 14 percent for Vista. That was nowhere near Windows XP though, which still has nearly 61 percent of the market.

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