Microsoft plans to release a "family pack" version of its Windows 7 operating system.
Family pack versions of Windows 7 can be installed on three computers in a single household, according to licensing terms in a leaked copy of the operating system, which is due for release next year.
Microsoft has declined to comment on the discovery reported by Canadian blogger Kristan Kenney, who found a reference to a "family pack" in a Windows 7 Home Premium licence agreement.
According to Kenney, the installation and use rights state, "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."
But the provision appears to apply only to the Home Premium edition. The family pack reference is not included in the Professional and Ultimate editions, Kenney said.
The more flexible licensing agreement will be a marked departure from Microsoft's one licence per computer policy, if the software firm goes ahead with the plan.
A family pack option, would however, bring Microsoft in line with Apple licensing for its Mac OS X operating system, which allows for up to five computers per household.