If you're planning on buying or upgrading more than one Microsoft product in a year's time, consider a TechNet Standard subscription. For $US200, you get, essentially, 100 installations of Windows, Office, and other Microsoft apps.
Windows writer Paul Thurrott points out the recent TechNet Standard addition to Microsoft's subscription-based software offerings as a savings over buying boxed copies, or even hunting down student and professional discounts for very specific options. With TechNet Standard, you get real, unlimited, lifetime activations of Windows and Office products, and as Thurrott points out, it covers a whole lot of computing:
It's for multiple installs. Each product key can be used to install up to 10 versions of the OS or application, for the most part. But that's actually 100 (yes, 100) installs for each Windows 7 product edition, because you can activate each key 10 times. So you get 100 installs of Windows 7 Ultimate, 100 installs of Windows 7 Professional, 100 installs of Windows 7 Home Premium, and so on.
It's notable that the Standard subscription is intended for one person, and for non-commercial use. In Australia, it costs $337, and it can only be accessed online, which is an issue to consider if you don't have a decent download limit with your ISP. Still, if there's one person in your household that just happens to administer all the computers, well, a one-year TechNet subscription sounds cheaper than buying Family Packs or individual upgrades.
If you know of another quiet but legitimate software deal, by all means—share it in the comments.
Save Even More Money with a TechNet Standard Subscription [Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows via Ghacks]