How to buy windows XP

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by willie45, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. willie45 macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2007

    Can anyone enlighten me as to the best way to buy windows XP? I was hoping to get an OEM version but apparently there is a problem with this unless I am building a system. Is this right or is there a way around it?


  2. tjevans macrumors member


    Jan 18, 2006
    It is my understanding, and I may be incorrect, that an OEM copy must be purchased from a "system builder" as long as it is accompanied by a major portion of a system. There are some merchants on ebay who will sell you an OEM copy and the OS comes with a defective floppy drive or something like that to stay in compliance with the license.

    I have a "close friend" (yeah, that's it, a close friend) who purchased his copy of xp to use on his MBP that way.
  3. RichardI macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    Interesting. I have a brand new "OEM" copy of XP Home that I just received from an on-line computer store. It was shipped to me with no questions asked, and zero hardware accompanying it. And, this is not the first time I've done that. Go figure.
    I guess it just depends on where you get it from.

    Rich :cool:
  4. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Just go to and buy an OEM copy. At one point they made you buy a $2 cable so as to not cause any problems, but I don't know if they even make you do that anymore.
  5. willie45 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2007
    I have checked around today and had mixed responses from UK dealers. Some will sell you with no questions asked and others insist on you buying motherboards, memory and processor kits. Weird :confused:

    Anyway I will order one and see how it transpires

    Thanks for your help folks

  6. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    I bought mine (OEM version) off — and it had an upgrade coupon for Vista (which I have received, but not yet installed).

    No questions asked.
  7. willie45 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2007

    Hi Arkitect

    I just ordered it from now. Hopefully will arrive this week.

    Thanks to everyone for your help :)

  8. VideoFreek macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2007
    Actually, this is not as shady as some people around here seem to think. Microsoft has gone on record (if interested, google for articles on PCMag and ARS Technica) stating they don't mind consumers buying "OEM" versions as long as they comply with the terms of the license. The key points here are 1) you are responsible for end-user support (i.e., yourself, family members, etc.), 2) the software cannot be transferred to another machine, and 3) as a "system builder," you are responsible for installing the software on a fully-assembled computer system prior to distributing it to "end users," i.e. your family. You can read the full system builder license at, but I've reproduced the most relevant section below with emphasis added. Note that the definition of "system builder" is very broad--you qualify as a system builder if you are a pre-installer of software on computer systems. You install software, don't you? :)

    1. AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION AND ACCEPTANCE. Distribution of individual software licenses or hardware units
    contained in this Microsoft® System Builder Pack (“package”) is not authorized unless you accept this license. You
    accept this license when you open this package. By accepting this license, you agree that you are a system builder. If you
    do not open this package, you may deliver it to another system builder. “System builder” means an original equipment
    manufacturer, an assembler, refurbisher, or pre-installer of software on computer systems. ”Distribution” and “distribute”
    means the point in time when a fully assembled computer system leaves the control of system builder. A “fully assembled
    computer system” means a computer system consisting of at least a central processing unit, a motherboard, a hard drive
    (internally mounted (Solid State) NAND and/or internally mounted revolving magnetic-based hard drive), a power supply,
    and a case. If you are pre-installing Microsoft® Windows® XP Starter Edition or Windows VistaTM Starter, the fully
    assembled computer system must also satisfy the hardware requirements listed at If you
    choose not to accept this license, promptly return the unopened package to your distributor. Individual software licenses
    or hardware units cannot be returned after this package is opened.
  9. willie45 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2007
    Hi VideoFreek

    That's a really useful clarification



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