Windows 8 Pro OEM System Builder on Amazon vs. Microsoft Store

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Luba, May 12, 2013.

  1. Luba, May 12, 2013
    Last edited: May 12, 2013

    Luba macrumors 6502a

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #1
    I have a 2009 Mac Pro and created a partition of 200GB on one my HDD so that I can Boot Camp it with Windows 8 Pro.

    All these versions of Windows is a bit confusing. I need the System Builder version, but there seems to be 2 versions of the System Builder. I called a Microsoft Store and they said they wouldn't trust the OEM version that Amazon is selling. Other stores have this OEM version too, including Micro Center and NewEgg, but I am a little suspicious since the logo for the OEM version on these sites looks a bit strange as it lacks typical marketing slickness.

    Googling this issue gets me conflicting info: the OEM version has no warranty? OEM gets no support from Microsoft? The version you buy at the store can be transferred to another computer, but the OEM can't? It's the same product but just different license privileges?

    Right now Amazon sells the OEM for $135, while at the Microsoft Store it's $199, is the OEM version full of bloatware and that's why is cost $65 less?
     
  2. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    #2
    In terms of the actual content of the software, there is zero difference between System Builder/OEM and retail. They install in exactly the same way and with the exact same features.

    The difference is in the licensing. OEM versions are designed to be sold and supported by system builders (eg Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc) and installed on one computer only. Microsoft does not provide any software support for these licenses.

    Retail, the type that's more expensive, is supported by Microsoft, and the license can be transferred to a new computer, as long as you've wiped it from your old one.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    FWIW $199 is usually the price for Windows 8 Pro Upgrade at retail, which implies that you have some previous Microsoft OS installed to upgrade from. I have not seen a full retail box for W8.

    B
     
  4. Luba thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #4
    I called a couple of Microsoft Stores and told them I want to install W8 on a Mac using Boot Camp and both stores said they have System Builder (can't use Upgrade version) behind the counter (not on display) for $199

    I read on microsoft.com that OEM System Builder version can be used for personal use, except it comes with no support. The Microsoft Store says the version they sell comes with support, BUT when I called Microsoft Pre-Sales & Licensing, the rep said there's only one version of System Builder and that's the OEM version thus the System Builders sold by the Microsoft Store comes with no support. But why does resellers such as Amazon, NewEgg, Best Buy, etc. are all selling OEM System Builder for around $140, but Microsoft Store is selling it for $199??

    Entering the world of Windows makes your head spin! Their OS costs more than OS X and there's no many different versions even their own people are confused!


     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Yup. FWIW, it's worse than that because it depends on how you use the license how terms are defined. e.g. the System Builder License is supplanted by the Personal Use License when used by an indiviudal who is not an OEM.

    The PEL allows for transfers with this plain language:

    Personally, I'd get the System Builder license from the cheapest source and use that. All indications are that the pro version should retail for ~$139. I have no idea why Microsoft charges $199.

    The marketing differences you mention are normal for OEM versions which have usually come in plain brown (or white) wrappers.

    B
     
  6. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    #6
    I bought the Amazon OEM System Builder and it works perfectly fine. And no, it has no support whatsoever because the buyer becomes the support for the OS since most will modify layout and add software to make it their own (think HP, Dell, Acer, etc.). At that point YOU become your support since the idea is the OEM version gets put onto a new computer that you, as the buyer of the OEM version, will sell to a customer. Not a big issue if you're able to handle your own OS quirks as they arise. I've personally never called MS for support of any kind with Windows since as far back as 3.0.

    Make sure your hardware is "fully" compatible. My HP Touchsmart was run through the online MS test to determine compatibility and it was fine. HOWEVER, HP modified the driver for the nVidia card in my machine as part of their OEM service and that card has NO driver for Windows 8 even though it tested out as perfectly compatible. Apparently it's the same "model" as others but has a unique driver and will not work without that uniqueness in the latest drivers, which HP does not support.

    I don't know if Apple writes the driver for the card in yours for Windows or if a standard Windows driver from the manufacturer will work, but before wasting the money on Windows 8 it'd be worth finding out so you don't end up like me and throwing money away.
     

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