Are there any benefits to buying a retail Windows 7 box instead of an OEM disc?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Whackintosh, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Whackintosh macrumors 6502

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #1
    I can get a boxed retail version for roughly $80 more than the OEM, and am wondering if there are any reasons to do this?
     
  2. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #2
    For Microsoft there is a benefit, about $80 worth.
     
  3. danahn17 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 3, 2009
    #3
    I'm pretty sure that with an OEM, the license is non-transferrable. So if for example, your motherboard died, you would not be able to reinstall Windows and use your same key. With a regular retail version, I think you should be able to.

    At least that is my understanding of OEM vs retail Windows....

    Edit--
    Yeah...Here's a little article that explains it all (its referring to Vista OEM, but i suppose the same holds true for Win 7):

    http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/01/8730.ars
     
  4. Harry0620 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    #4
    I faced the same delima last week. After reading through all the discussions, I bought a retail version from Amazon for $180.00 (home premium). This is the right thing to do althougt cost more. I am sure you can install the OEM version without any problems but you are violating the licensing agreement. OEM version is for system builder that will sell the computer to a third party. Also the OEM license is not transferrable. Even for a new Imac, you are not building a new system. I believe the upgrade version also works but again, you are violating the licensing agreement.

    I installed the X64 version on my new Imac i5 last night. It took a while and I have to delete the ati*.sys file after I had the "black screen". The only thing so far not working is my bluetooth kb and magic mouse. I have followed the suggestion but W7 has not been able to find the device yet. Therefore, make sure you have a non-wireless KB and mouse to start the installation.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #5
    Main differences are that you have to choose between 32bit vs. 64bit for the OEM version. Also the license is tied to the motherboard, i.e., not transferable and there's no support for it provided by MS
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #6
    It's also not licensed to end users.

    It is licensed solely for the purpose of preinstalling on a machine for resale to a third party. Read the link below and the license itself (found in a link near the bottom of the link).

    http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?PageID=563841

    That's the license. it didn't always include the top bullet, which is why many folks, including myself, previously used OEM licenses for home machines and also in small business environments. Microsoft revised the license when Vista SP1 came out to reflect these new terms.

    You are free to ignore the license. Heck, even Ed Bott suggests that you do so even though he acknowledges that it is not within the letter or spirit of the license. http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=1561.

    Many folks even succeed in getting Microsoft to effectively grant them rights above and beyond the license (i.e. many have transferred OEM licenses from one box to another even though that is not a right granted by the license), and since pre-installation with he OPK is not enforced by the installer, you can technically ignore that part of the license too.

    Bottom line: Full retail licenses are the only ones licensed for end users.

    B
     
  7. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #7
    If you are buying all the components to build a machine, there is no reason you can't really use the OEM license, in the past. MS is trying to stop companies from selling OEM licenses to people doing this, thus the top bullet point.

    Personally I'm kinda sick of the MS licensing stuff; just sell one full version for everyone for a reasonable price. Then maybe one full business version. Right now it is just annoying with all the different licenses and versions. I was reading up on TechNet the other day -- need it for work. It can be had for $250 and gives you 10 licenses to every OS MS makes. If they are so willing to do this for corporations, why not just make this offer for everyone ($100 you get 1 license for the current windows version and all pervious versions). Stop screwing the end consumer.
     
  8. danahn17 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #8
    By the way, i don't know if you are aware of it or not but i figured i'd write that if you are a student (or knows someone who is a student) with a valid .edu email address, you can get Windows 7, you can get Windows 7 for $30.

    This website (affiliated with MS) is giving the Home Edition Upgrade as a download:
    http://windows7.digitalriver.com/store/mswpus/en_US/DisplayHomePage

    If you want the full version, you can call MS directly at 1.877.696.7786 and ask about the student discount. You can get the actual retail full version if you ask. When I did it, I was able to get the Professional version for no extra cost (though i'm hearing they may be out of stock now). I think you may have to pay a little extra for shipping and / or taxes.

    Either way, if you know someone with a .edu email address, it might be worth a shot! The discount is good till early January i believe (i forget the exact date).
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #9
    That was the gist of Ed Bott's article on the OEM licenses. If they are going to make it this that hard to figure it out and the cheaper one works, just go for it. I just want to make sure, like Ed does that this is not the way the product is licensed, and by doing so you are in not that different a position than someone running OS X on a non-Apple labeled PC.

    FWIW TechNet and MSDN subscriptions are available to anyone who wants to pay for it, but the products you get that way are licensed for evaluation purposes only. Don't think that a 20 person company could run their production server and 10 copies of Windows 7 Professional 32 bit and 10 copies of Windows 7 Professional 64 bit for $250/yr. ;) Not that there aren't home users who actually do this.

    B
     

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