Windows 7 Home Premium OEM is there any downside vs Retail Pack

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by whitedragon101, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    Windows 7 Home Premium comes in OEM for - £70.88

    OR full retail pack - £105.63

    Is there any disadvantage of getting the OEM version?

    Is it locked to one PC once installed? I want to install it on bootcamp and when I get a new Mac in the spring I want to uninstall it and install it on the new one.
  2. Grannyville7989 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2010
    The only disadvantage getting the OEM over the retail version of Windows 7 is that you can't perform an in-place upgrade installation of Windows 7 (which won't affect you in this case as you'll need to do a clean install for Boot Camp) and you don't get both 32 & 64 bit versions that comes with the retail version.

    Here are a couple of articles regarding OEM vs Retail of Windows 7;post-1561

    In my opinion, I think Microsoft kind of messed up when communicating what version of Windows is best for you, especially in regards of Windows 7 Upgrade discs vs Windows 7 Full discs.
  3. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    Its all very conflicting info. But it seems from the second link that this is a pretty serious drawback of OEM:

    "The main difference between OEM and Retail is that the OEM license does not allow moving the OS to a different computer, once it is installed." - Quote from Microsoft Forum written by Microsoft Engineer

    That would seem to indicate that when I get my new laptop I would not be able to uninstall it on this one and install it on the new one.
  4. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Just note that Boot Camp Assistant is picky and in principle looks for only full retail licenses. For other versions, you may have to perform part of the install manually. Full retail licenses are the only ones that are 100% compliant with the licenses.

    Per the license, yes. In practice not really.

    Also per the license, you are supposed to resell the system you install OEM/System Builder on to an unrelated third party. That is the letter of the license, but may or not be enforced or apply in your country of residence.

    Retail product keys are generally more lenient in terms of unassisted re-activation on new hardware since they are licensed to be transferable. Many have transferred OEM licenses, despite the license explicitly not allowing that, but it typically involves calling Microsoft to activate.

    As Granny indicated in passing, you may even be able to use a retail upgrade version by following this guide. As long as you are satisfied that you qualify for the upgrade pricing, there is nothing stopping you from installing that way.

    As I said above, the license specifically prohibits it, but in practice they usually will allow you to activate. According to some folks the precedent in Germany is such that the license can even be removed from one computer, resold to a third party, and re-installed.

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