Microsoft Limits Windows 7 Upgrade Options for Customers without Software Assurance


News pertaining to the availability and the licensing terms of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system continues to trickle in. This time, Web site TechARP says Microsoft has confirmed that it will be restricting users to just 25 Windows 7 upgrades per location.


What it means is that organizations with more than 25 machines at any brick-and-mortar address will have to either rely on Software Assurance (SA) in order to upgrade to Windows 7 or shell out for new licenses of the OS. Companies that have not purchased SA will not get any upgrade break beyond the first 25 PCs -- they will have to pay the full cost of the operating system instead. Companies with branch offices could get around that restriction by getting 25 upgrades at each office.


What this translates to is that SMBs and enterprises buying new machines at this point in time -- but who are planning to to switch to Windows 7 when it is available -- should evaluate their requirements carefully in terms of getting an SA contract. Alternatively, they should budget the additional cost of acquiring Windows 7 licenses if they have more than 25 nodes per location.


In the meantime, news in other aspects remains unchanged. Microsoft is still adamant that the final shipment of Windows 7 will take place in the early part of 2010, though pretty much everyone else still thinks that it could come as early as this fall.


Keep checking back, and I'll be sure to alert you to any news on Windows 7 that affects SMBs.