Cheapest place to get a (legal) copy of Windows 7?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by john1620b, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. john1620b macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    #1
    Any suggestions on the cheapest place to get a (legal) copy of Windows 7? I plan on running it using Virtualbox, or maybe Parallels/Fusion if I decide to get one of those as well. From my limited searching so far, this is the best deal I've found ($100 from Amazon with free shipping):

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002NGJO4M/

    I'm also a little confused (not surprisingly) at how many versions there are out there. I assume the 64-bit home version is fine? I basically just need it to test out website rendering in IE. Recommendations?
     
  2. 50548 Guest

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    Currently in Switzerland
    #2
    I wouldn't spend 100 bucks on that POS; if you feel like testing Windows on Mac, why not try out XP or Vista for $10 instead? That's what most people still use anyway...
     
  3. brendu macrumors 68020

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    USA
    #3
    That was a horrible suggestion. XP is ancient and Vista is crap. Win7 is actually pretty nice and even most mac users who have it would admit it is much better than any previous version of windows. Plus I would bet there are far more pc's using windows 7 now than Vista.

    The only way I am aware that you can get a copy of win7 for cheaper than what you found on amazon is if you already had a copy of Vista or XP and were a student/teacher with a .edu email address. Then you could download the win7 professional (upgrade) from Microsoft for $64.95 but that will only work if you have a previous version of windows to load from.
     
  4. 50548 Guest

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    #4
    You must be living in la-la-land, then...my whole organization is only migrating to Windows 7 later this year, and most of my friends either have Vista or XP, even though both are fairly ancient for now.

    The point was to show him that he doesn't need to spend 100 dollars for a new, yet inferior OS if his objective is simply to have access to Windows in general. XP with the latest service pack or Vista (horrible, I know) are more than enough for most ordinary uses.

    But sure, if he wants to have the best possible Windows, just go and grab a copy for the amount indicated above...I won't.
     
  5. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

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    May 6, 2004
    #5
    Do you know any Uni students? This is semi-legal.

    When I was taking some classes I bought Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit for $7

    I think Office 2010 PC was $10 and Office 2011 Mac was $12.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
  7. john1620b thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 29, 2009
    #7
    I already have XP, but as IE evolves I'm going to need to a newer version so I can properly test websites.

    My wife is actually a grad student...I'll check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  8. SidBala macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 27, 2010
    #8
    Please don't follow that guy's suggestion and go with XP or Vista.

    Win7 is quite honestly a wonderful OS.
     
  9. kohlson macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 23, 2010
    #9
    One way is to get an OEM license, which applies to anyone who is building a PC. My local stores used to interpret this as anyone buying hardware (like a $3 mouse) and then they gave up any pretense at all. What you give up is any support. But it installs as expected, and works the same as W7 Pro (or whatever version you buy). Somewhat less costly than the retail version.
     
  10. fineaddme macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2010
    #10
    you got these at your uni store?

    i also need win 7
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
    The Amazon link provided by the OP was to an OEM/System Builder's edition.

    Microsoft has made a concerted effort to close the past loopholes in the OEM/System Builder license so that now OEM/System Builder user by end-users is pretty clearly outside the license, i.e. a legal gray area.

    A major condition of the license is
    . More from Microsoft:http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/licensing_for_hobbyists.aspx

    Note also that most student editions, like the one available at http://win741.com are upgrade editions and thus also a bit of a gray area from a license point of view on a Mac unless you already have an underlying retail license of XP or Vista you can transfer to your Mac (since OEM does not give your transfer rights it doesn't count.)

    B
     
  12. john1620b thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 29, 2009
    #12
    Does this mean it *won't* install without XP or Vista already installed, or you're not *supposed* to install it without upgrading?
     
  13. res1233, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011

    res1233 macrumors 65816

    res1233

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    #13
    Microsoft's DVDs are a bit of a strange beast. While they're labeled as "upgrade" disks, if you have an activation code for a fresh clean install of windows, it will let you do it. The disks AFAIK all have the same data on them, in fact, during the install process, it uses the activation code to figure out which version of windows you're trying to install, home basic, home premium, etc. Skipping the activation code part makes the installer ask you which version of windows you're trying to install. The only thing you're actually paying for is the activation code, and the only difference is 32-bit disks vs 64-bit disks
     
  14. acro macrumors newbie

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    Dec 10, 2010
    #14
    Xp

    I've been running XP (parallels) on my MB and MBP for a long time and it works like a charm.

    If you just need it as an add on then go for XP. If you want more fancy stuff, (which you allready have on your mac anyways) then spend some more.

    I only use Windows XP for those apps that are not available for Mac, such as software for flight like SeeYou and MaxPunkte. XP suits my needs just perfectly, ancient as it is. (doesn't take up as much disk space as well)
     
  15. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    New Hampshire
    #15
    This isn't a thread about which is better Win7 vs XP but is a request for the lowest cost legal Win7. The OP has XP but needs a copy of Win7 for testing his code with Win7 users.
     
  16. trip1ex macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #17
    search for Staples price match windows 7 on slickdeals.net

    and you can get the family pack (3 license) Windows 7 Home Premium for $75 + tax.

    Get Win7 over XP or Vista. No contest.

    ACtually using it now. Have both a Mac and Win7 PC now and Win7 is better than OSX in many ways. Each have their strong points.

    ONe thing I love about Win7 is everything is larger. There's no tiny buttons or scrollbars to click on like in OSX. It's just quicker that way.

    Plus the Delete key can be used to delete files. Bonus.

    Windows Explorer > Finder also.

    And neat tricks like enlarging windows to half screen size by dragging to either side of the screen.

    The ideal OS would be a combination of the two.
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #18
    You can physically install it, but you are not following the letter of the license so the "legality" of your license is a bit of a gray area, just as it is with OEM. That works too, but use by end-users is explicitly not allowed by the license. (NOTE: Vista -> 7 can be done as an in-place upgrade, but XP -> 7 is basically the same as the clean install you have to archive your data and restore it after 7 is installed).

    So, it all depends on what you mean by "legal". Strictly speaking you need to get a full retail license (typically $199 and up) to fully comply with all license restrictions

    As jbrenn and I have said, if your needs are really transient, using an evaluation license of Windows is the way to go at the lowest cost (free).

    B
     
  18. fishcake macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #19
    Microsoft provide free virtual machines precisely for testing web site compatability against different versions of IE, search microsoft.com to find them. They are intended to be used with microsoft's virtualpc product, don't know if they can be imported into virtualbox etc. I think they currently have IE6 - IE8 available on XP or Vista images, they normally have an expiry date, which means you need to download a new one every 3 months or so.

    Hope that helps.
     
  19. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    New England
    #20
    Link. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...90-958f-4b64-b5f1-73d0a413c8ef&displaylang=en

    B
     
  20. spacecowgoesmoo macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #21
    Check out Browsershots.org. Not the perfect solution, but it doesn't cost $100 :)
     
  21. john1620b thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 29, 2009
    #22
    Thanks, this is very helpful information.

    Yeah, I've used Browsershots.org before, but I need to interact with sites to make sure Javascript is working.
     

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