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Old Feb 16, 2010, 01:32 PM   #1
TechnoEagle
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What does OEM/System Builder's Edition mean?

I am looking for a copy of either Windows 7 or Windows XP to put on a Mac. I keep seeing the words 'OEM' and 'System Builder's Edition' popping up in my search results. What do these phrases mean? Are these illegal copies of the operating system? Would these work for what I am trying to do?

Thanks in advance!!
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Old Feb 16, 2010, 01:37 PM   #2
-Ryan-
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Nope, all you need to know is that they are legal. They're 'meant' for people that build computers, but anyone can buy them and use them. The only real caveat is that you can only ever install it on one computer, however, Microsoft will generally renew the key for another use if you explain the situation.

Put it this way; with the billions Microsoft lose to software piracy, they'll be happy you're even contemplating buying a real copy.
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Old Feb 16, 2010, 03:01 PM   #3
mslide
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Just to further add to the above, the OEM versions do not include tech support from Microsoft as those versions are meant for system builders (who would give the user tech support).

Another difference is that the Windows 7 Retail version comes with both 32 and 64 bit media as opposed to the OEM where you pick one or the other when you buy it (I'm not sure if an OEM 32-bit key works on a 64-bit version and vice versa... in case you are able to 'acquire' the media for the other version after you buy it).

As mentioned above, OEM copies are supposed to be tied to the original machine they are installed on, but Microsoft will usually let you activate it on different hardware (or completely different computers).

Last edited by mslide; Feb 16, 2010 at 04:19 PM.
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Old Feb 16, 2010, 03:19 PM   #4
balamw
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Further reading:

Is it OK to use OEM Windows on your own PC? Don't ask Microsoft http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=1561

Licensing for Hobbyists http://oem.microsoft.com/script/cont...?PageID=563841

Since you are using the software outside the license, the legality of your purchase and use is questionable. Although what Microsoft could and would do about it is unclear.

Ultimately it's a personal decision, much like running OS X on non-Apple hardware (a.k.a. Hackintosh) which is a similar case of running software outside its license.

Note that since MS doesn't actually check for upgrade eligibility in any way with retail upgrade licenses, you may actually end up with a more flexible install violating the license that way instead.

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Old Feb 16, 2010, 05:07 PM   #5
amon91
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I'm pretty sure anyone on this forum won't really need tech support so an OEM version would be fine (and a good way to save some cash).
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Old Feb 16, 2010, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amon91 View Post
I'm pretty sure anyone on this forum won't really need tech support so an OEM version would be fine (and a good way to save some cash).
You'd be surprised by the large number of folks who seem to use this forum as tech support when they clearly don't know what they are doing.

Like the folks who use XP SP1 discs or recovery media and wonder why it isn't working.

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Old Feb 16, 2010, 06:58 PM   #7
mslide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amon91 View Post
I'm pretty sure anyone on this forum won't really need tech support so an OEM version would be fine (and a good way to save some cash).
I'm in no way implying that the OP would require MS tech support but based on some of the posts I see on this forum, I wouldn't agree with your statement
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