OEM or full version of Win 7?

Logicman91

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 13, 2010
10
0
So I'm thinking about buying Win 7 to run on my MacBook. My question is, should i go with the OEM or Full version. I've heard that the only differences is you don't get Microsoft support with OEM, and while in the full version, you have the option whether to install 32-bit or 64-bit version, on the OEM you have to buy either 64 or 32-bit version.

Is that the only differences between them? In that case, i will go for the OEM, since it's alot cheaper.
 

tersono

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2005
1,999
1
UK
Minor point, but you also can't move the OEM version to another machine - the license doesn't permit it.

I always go for OEM version where available - too much of a saving not to imho...
 

Logicman91

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 13, 2010
10
0
You mean that once you have installed it on one computer, you can never use it on another one? That's quite fair actually anyway, cause the price is almost half of what the full version costs.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Read this blog post by Ed Bott http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/is-it-ok-to-use-oem-windows-on-your-own-pc-dont-ask-microsoft/1561a and Microsoft's page here: http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?pageid=563841 for more background information.

OEM is simply not intended for use by end users, and the license requires resale of the system to an unrelated third party.

I honestly don't "get" why folks think OEM is such a good deal (unless you are an OEM and buying in bulk). It's generally priced just about where the retail upgrade is.

If you are already OK with using the software outside its license (clearly if you are considering OEM as an end user), why not consider a retail upgrade instead? Just as unlicensed, with fewer artificial restrictions. You just have to use one of the clean install methods http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/clean_install_upgrade_media.asp for your initial install.

B
 

iMAVERICKam

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2009
93
0
Texas
All of these points are correct:

  • You will not get support from Microsoft (but c'mon, do you really need it?)
  • You will have to choose between 32-bit and 64-bit up front
  • You will not be able to activate the license on a different Mac (or PC) if you use Boot Camp. If you use VMware or Parallels then you can copy the VM disk to any machine and it will still work since VMware and Parallels both present the same virtualized hardware (with the exception of the CPU, but even the OEM versions allow a few component changes.)
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
All of these points are correct:

  • You will not get support from Microsoft (but c'mon, do you really need it?)
  • You will have to choose between 32-bit and 64-bit up front
  • You will not be able to activate the license on a different Mac (or PC) if you use Boot Camp. If you use VMware or Parallels then you can copy the VM disk to any machine and it will still work since VMware and Parallels both present the same virtualized hardware (with the exception of the CPU, but even the OEM versions allow a few component changes.)
Also you can't use it to do an in-place upgrade over Vista, but that is less important now than ever because you could only upgrade V-32->7-32 or V-64->7-64 and V-32->7-64 is a clean install anyway.

The problem is that it is just not that simple.

Many have shown that you can crossgrade from 32 to 64 bit using the same product key and it will (generally) work. All you need is the other media.

Many have also moved OEM versions to completely different hardware and had it activate fine, maybe occasionally needing a call to Microsoft.

The point is that the license doesn't explicitly grant you those rights, so it's hit or miss if you can do that or not. If you don't want to worry about it, or if you actually want to be in compliance with the license, stick with retail versions.

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Logicman91

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 13, 2010
10
0
I honestly don't "get" why folks think OEM is such a good deal (unless you are an OEM and buying in bulk). It's generally priced just about where the retail upgrade is.
the OEM costed about 130$ and the retail about 230$. And i found that to be about the same almost every place.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
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Logicman91 said:
I honestly don't "get" why folks think OEM is such a good deal (unless you are an OEM and buying in bulk). It's generally priced just about where the retail upgrade is.
the OEM costed about 130$ and the retail about 230$. And i found that to be about the same almost every place.
You missed upgrade.

EDIT: Right now at NewEgg, Home Premium retail upgrade is $85 (regularly $120) and OEM is $99. (Pro is $160 vs. $130).

Both are licensing grey areas, but you are more limited by OEM than retail upgrade.

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jhmirage

macrumors newbie
Aug 4, 2010
21
0
Minneapolis, MN
Right now at NewEgg, Home Premium retail upgrade is $85 (regularly $120) and OEM is $99. (Pro is $160 vs. $130).

Both are licensing grey areas, but you are more limited by OEM than retail upgrade.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the upgrade version restrict you to installation (even of a fresh install) over top of an existing Vista/XP install?

I could be misremembering.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the upgrade version restrict you to installation (even of a fresh install) over top of an existing Vista/XP install?

I could be misremembering.
Nope. http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/clean_install_upgrade_media.asp

If nothing else, the old 7 -> 7 upgrade "trick" introduced with Vista works.

They basically have to since only Vista->7 installs for the same architecture (32->32 or 64->64) are in place upgrades. Everything else is a "custom" install similar to the clean install.

So again, if you are going to ignore the license, why not ignore the license with something that is at least designed for end users.

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balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Because you only have to do it once.
I'm not sure how to interpret that.

Of course ignoring the license (either the System Builder License or the End User License Agreement) is a one time thing, but that goes for either OEM or retail upgrade.

If you mean "consider your OEM license of Windows to be a single use throwaway copy" I agree with that. Then when you decide to go from Boot Camp to Parallels and it won't activate, or you upgrade to a brand new shiny MBP and want to transfer your license, you only have yourself to blame.

Note too that if you do resell your Mac with Windows OEM installed, per the license, you are taking on the responsibility for support.

OEM used to make sense to me before they changed the license, since it allowed enough wiggle room to suggest hobbyist use was OK. Now it's pretty clear it's not.

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iMAVERICKam

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2009
93
0
Texas
  • You will not be able to activate the license on a different Mac (or PC) if you use Boot Camp. If you use VMware or Parallels then you can copy the VM disk to any machine and it will still work since VMware and Parallels both present the same virtualized hardware (with the exception of the CPU, but even the OEM versions allow a few component changes.)
Seriously, just get the OEM version. It's cheaper than the retail upgrade version, you only have to install it once instead of twice with the retail upgrade, and if you use VMware or Parallels you can take it with you to any Mac any time in the future without any problem.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Seriously, just get the OEM version. It's cheaper than the retail upgrade version, you only have to install it once instead of twice with the retail upgrade, and if you use VMware or Parallels you can take it with you to any Mac any time in the future without any problem.
Now I understand what you meant. Like all issues of Windows licensing, it's not so simple, it's all unnecessarily complicated and shades of grey. (Unless you purchase the Full Packaged Product, which is generally the only way to be 100% license compliant if you do not have a transferable license of a previous version, i.e. at some point you did buy a full packaged product.).

My point remains:

You can often find retail upgrade cheaper than OEM (see above where retail upgrade was available from NewEgg for $85 while OEM was $99), and the registry hack install is also a single install. So how exactly is OEM superior?

You may have a harder time moving the OEM license from a VM to Boot Camp or to a PC than a retail upgrade. Or moving it from Parallels to VMWare or Virtualbox...

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cubedweller

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2007
295
23
bootcamp+virtual machine?

...quick question, I was under the impression that a Windows license is per machine (i.e. a single license can be used to install it in bootcamp AND in a virtual machine) -- is this correct?
 

iMAVERICKam

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2009
93
0
Texas
...quick question, I was under the impression that a Windows license is per machine (i.e. a single license can be used to install it in bootcamp AND in a virtual machine) -- is this correct?
Yes. VMware and Parallels will work their magic on the Boot Camp partition which will probably require re-activation but it will work fine afterward.
 

cubedweller

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2007
295
23
Yes. VMware and Parallels will work their magic on the Boot Camp partition which will probably require re-activation but it will work fine afterward.
I'm using VirtualBox so it won't be the same bootcamp partition... I was still under the impression that it is machine specific and I should be able to do both activations...

I also have the same concern with Office 2010 Pro...
 

iMAVERICKam

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2009
93
0
Texas
I'm using VirtualBox so it won't be the same bootcamp partition... I was still under the impression that it is machine specific and I should be able to do both activations...

I also have the same concern with Office 2010 Pro...
Sorry, I don't know anything about VirtualBox.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
I'm using VirtualBox so it won't be the same bootcamp partition... I was still under the impression that it is machine specific and I should be able to do both activations...

I also have the same concern with Office 2010 Pro...
First: Read the licenses.

Use with Virtualization Technologies. Instead of using the software directly on the licensed computer, you may install and use the software within only one virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed computer. When used in a virtualized environment, content protected by digital rights management technology, BitLocker or any full volume disk drive encryption technology may not be as secure as protected content not in a virtualized environment. You should comply with all domestic and international laws that apply to such protected content.
"Instead of" does not usually mean "In addition to" which is why the shared Boot Camp/VM installs in VMWare and Parallels do their thing to make sure that Windows sees this as one instlall on two separate hardware configurations of one system. (like a docked laptop).

Office 2010 Pro is trickier as it depends heavily on how you got it how many installs you can have. For example read this: http://social.answers.microsoft.com...l/thread/7e6cefc4-81c7-483b-b889-86909aa7d586

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cubedweller

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2007
295
23
First: Read the licenses.



"Instead of" does not usually mean "In addition to" which is why the shared Boot Camp/VM installs in VMWare and Parallels do their thing to make sure that Windows sees this as one instlall on two separate hardware configurations of one system. (like a docked laptop).

Office 2010 Pro is trickier as it depends heavily on how you got it how many installs you can have. For example read this: http://social.answers.microsoft.com...l/thread/7e6cefc4-81c7-483b-b889-86909aa7d586

B
Thanks for the response.
 

Macsavvytech

macrumors 6502a
May 25, 2010
897
0
Although i don't recommend it

although i don't recommend this you could buy an upgrade license and use this.:rolleyes:
http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/10895-RemoveWAT-A-safer-activation-solution.
You are only illegal while your installing the upgrade, as said it's a grey are.
You could use this to illegaly activate windows however i don't recommend it except when you've got a genuine license i used it on my Bootcamp win7 as Windows Activation sometimes declares your windows as counterfeit or invalid and i was sick of it:mad:
 
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