Your honest opinion - cheap netbook, or a Windows-on-Mac option?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by LizKat, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #1
    Here's all i want to do: be able to use audiobooks from my library that come in DRM'd WMA format, i.e. download them, then transfer to iPod. My library has more WMA format than MP3 ones, and not a whole lot of either, so far.

    Here's the problem: The library uses Overdrive for its audio loans. Overdrive does not yet allow downloading WMA format to Macs.

    Overdrive does say that if I use Windows for download, then I can transfer the downloaded files via iTunes-Windows to some Windows-formatted iPod for listening. Just as I now successfully transfer my Overdrive Mac downloads (of MP3 format library audiobooks) through itunes-Mac to an iPod touch. I can reformat and dedicate an older iPod to iTunes-windows use, probably a 2nd gen nano.

    So. if getting those DRM'd WMA loans downloaded from Overdrive (then running iTunes-Windows with a limited purpose) was all that you wanted to use Windows for, which way would you go for getting a Windows environment set up for those downloads?

    1. I could buy a Parallels, and a Windows 7 home premium. There's a learning curve to get it up and working on my Mac, plus i'd have to mess with my Time Machine settings to not back up the extra partition(s), etc., etc. Worth it just to get stupid Overdrive to download some WMAs? I'm not at all sure.

    Or...

    2. A cheap netbook is almost as cheap as the cost of that software plus it would be completely isolated from my other computing which is FINE with me. I'd just do the OS and AV patches and run Overdrive and iTunes-Windows. Pretty light use!

    Is it crazy to think about getting a cheap windows-based machine, versus introducing Windows operations as an option on one of my Macs? I admit that I know nothing of the little netbooks or their quality issues. And what is Windows 7 "starter" system that seems to come on some of the netbooks -- would that be enough of a system to do my library loans and transfer to iPod?

    I just can't figure out which way to go on this. And of course it kind of gnaws at me that a couple hundred bucks would BUY quite a few months of my Audible subscription, which is how I otherwise get audiobooks. But since I can already use the library's MP3 offerings, I thought to try to be able to use their WMA-format loaners as well. The library will have more offerings of both formats as time goes on, but Overdrive does not promise a drm'd WMA Mac download option anytime soon.
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #2
    It's entirely your call. Nothing wrong with a little extra hardware.

    Just note that you can substitute Virtualbox for Parallels and make the software cost just the cost of Windows 7. (i.e. anywhere from $30 to $199 depending on how/where you get it.

    B
     
  3. case2001 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Being the tight wad I am.....I would agree with the above. Just go with Virtual Box and get an OEM version of windows 7 starter on Newegg. The money you save can be spent on other items.

    I personally think more hardware makes things more difficult to administer but that's just me. I have a Lenovo Netbook which is great. The screen is nice and bright. However, reading on it is not nearly as comfortable as my old MacBook Pro 15 or my new 11" Air. But don't get me wrong the Lenovo is nice.

    Good Luck.....:)
     
  4. tommy060289 macrumors regular

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    #4
    Why would you need parallels? Can't you just use bootcamp to install a windows partition of windows. Then the only software you need is windows.

    Although others opinions may differ I HATE netbooms with a passion. Ice never used one that I felt functioned as a decent computer, I find the hardware to be low quality and not really good enough, windows 7 starter in contrast to windows 7 is a horrible piece of software that I find very inefficient and to top it off most have prohibitively small screen.

    Windows natively on a mac on the other hand....and with bootcamp there is no need for anything like mucking about with time machine!
     
  5. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #5
    Thank you three for your replies. :) I am a little wary of running Windows in native mode on my Mac, although perhaps only from ignorance of actual risks. If I had used Windows at all sometime since the 1990s, perhaps I would think differently. Meanwhile, at least for now, I do still lean towards either virtualizing or using separate hardware.

    Virtual Box seems a good suggestion. My requirement is really basic, so will hardly test the capability of any virtualizer.

    So maybe Virtual Box and a Windows 7 Home Premium will be the way for me to go. The full Windows I could use later on in a different configuration if I decided I had other uses for the OS. Like if I decided to run something that would be best to run natively. Or if I wanted to use the Windows OS on a different machine, even a Windows machine that just didn't come with a full Windows 7 but supports it.

    I looked at some netbooks but my eyes glazed over, not used to assessing specs on these machines, meanwhile asking myself why I would want to do this except as a cop-out from having to tweak a Mac in unfamiliar ways. I'm working on changing my attitude. Learning a little more about virtualization may help, so I downloaded the Virtual Box stuff including user manual. Hope I don't get distracted by the possibilities. I'll end up running a linux OS off some ol' Mac in the back room "because I can..." ;)
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
    Correct. A full retail license ~$199 is the most flexible/portable. If you have a previous license of Windows (especially one that you are not using) you can go for a retail upgrade license. There is no real check that you qualify, so it's basically relying on the honor system. There are a few more steps in the install, but it's straightforward and can save you ~$100.

    B
     
  7. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    No trying to knock on prior suggestions but why Windows 7. Granted it's a very good OS however for something that simple, why not use XP in a VM?

    XP is still supported (at least until 999 days from today), costs less, smaller footprint, lower requirements. Granted you could always go out and buy something cheap, nothing wrong with that but you can make better use of your current machine by keeping it simple.
     
  8. Dresevski macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Keep in mind that you can Boot Camp Windows (7 probably because it's 64bit) then also use something like Parallels (Virtual Box). This is the type of setup I have on my iMac, really quick switching and opening in any combination.

    So, get the upcoming 11" MBA and do W7. You'll live happily ever after for a few years ;)
     
  9. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #9
    ^^^ darlin' i would love to get the mba 11" just to run win 7 on it... but... if i got that, wouldn't my other Macs feel slighted?

    A full Windows 7 sounds right to me because it will be usuable longer (and elsewhere) later, and then decide which way to install and use it on my current MacBook Pro which has plenty of room and memory for whichever way.

    My main mission is going to be to remember that this is all only in aid of getting the capability of reading some damn library books "for free..." so I don't mind walking into the tall weeds of my budget for a couple hundred bucks, but not ready for the price of another Mac.. not this year anyway.

    But thanks for the suggestion on the 11" mba, if I go there sometime it will def be your fault :D
     
  10. Hyper-X, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Forgive me for being harsh but useable for what purpose? Your original post stated clearly what you wanted to do, you said you wanted to play audiobooks, so why Windows 7 and why must it be 64 bit?

    Bootcamp is a bad idea because you need to shutdown and restart your Mac to access the Windows partition. You're going to allocate all your resources just to boot Windows 7 (64 bit at that, for what reason I have no idea), to play audiobooks? None of this makes any sense.

    VM (through Fusion or Parallels) is a much better option because you don't need to exit out of OSX to access Windows. DRM'd WMA's play just fine on Windows XP, takes less than half to run, is a simpler OS.

    Now I'd retract what I said about everything if you're planning to do some serious computing in Windows but I got no clue of that from reading the posts. Yes Windows 7 will keep longer like I said, XP's support terminates in exactly 999 days from today.

    In order to use Windows 7 x64, you'll need a minimum of 4GB to start with if you plan on using it comfortably, that means a Mac with 4GB total RAM can't use x64 in a VM without being super patient with how it'll load and it'll very likely operate dog-slow. Yes it does state 2GB minimum for x64 but if you actually tried to use it with just 2GB, you'll likely commit suicide. Why would you even need x64 Windows 7 for audiobooks?

    Sorry but none of what I read makes any sense, it seems to me that you're already set in what you want to do and made a thread to waste our times. Before you jump into "Oh I want 64 bit Windows 7" because somehow it sounds better, check out the following link so you understand the basics of 32bit vs 64bit.

    http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/86886-32-bit-vs-64-bit-comparison.html
     
  11. LizKat, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #11
    This is good feedback to get... and no I didn't make a thread to waste time. I tried to sketch out what options had occurred to me, and only hoped to dodge "you can't do this with that" scenarios by getting the higher capability OS even if it would be overkill for my needs.

    It's pretty hilarious that I didn't even consider the possibility that "you can't do this with that" might apply, or nearly apply, to a MacBook Pro with only 4GB RAM trying to make use of a full version of Windows 7. Duh.

    Okay, so now... it seems like I really should be looking at a simpler version of Windows if I am not going to go the netbook route. So is the XP the way to go or are there other options? The starter system would suffice? Do they sell it standalone?

    Edit: How about the full retail but install the 32bit as my choice, then I could still uninstall it later and install the 64bit on different machine, or give the package away, seems like it would be worth more to me or the next owner than XP...

    Man, in the time it takes you guys and me to wrap this thread, some people at Apple, Microsoft and Overdrive could have sat down and said, hey why don't we just do THIS to solve THAT, make all our customers happy...

    Anyway thanks again for helping me get towards those WMA books sitting in my library's download zone. I looked this afternoon and there wasn't even one MP3 format one available at that time.
     
  12. case2001 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Window xp is a great idea. I just checked on new egg you can get windows 7 home premium 32bit oem for 99.00. I still would lean toward window 7. Just incase you want something else in windowa down the road but xp should solve your problem.
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #13
    I think you are seeing it clearly.

    This is one of the advantages of a retail package. You get both and can switch between them easily. With OEM you get one, but can usually download an ISO from a legit official source and use that with your product key.

    You can find my rants against OEM use by end users elsewhere.

    The only thing I will add here is that you can download the ISO and use it for free in VirtualBox for 30 days (extendable to 120 days). You may want to try that before you spend any money.

    B
     
  14. Hyper-X, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Remember, the OP said she only needs it for audiobooks, there's no need to ever consider Windows 7. Yes it's a newer OS but audiobooks don't work any better just because it's being played on a newer OS. When I first read this thread I saw a simple problem and suggested simple and inexpensive solutions. When someone tells me "I just want a place to store a couple pairs of shoes", I don't suggest buying a new house to put them in. If that's what the OP wants to do, then by all means.

    Bootcamp Pros: Windows is dedicated, no memory or processor sharing from using 2 different OS's at the same time. You only need to purchase a Windows license to get going since Bootcamp is native to your machine (OSX disc). This is also your cheapest option.

    Bootcamp Cons: You need to restart your machine each time you want to boot into OSX and Windows. You can't use Windows and OSX at the same time. Kind of a hassle if you ask me.

    Netbook Pros: Netbooks generally come with Windows 7 Starter Edition, essentially a Windows 7 Lite Edition made for very basic tasks. Cost targets around $299 for most versions except for the Dual Core models.

    Netbook Cons: No optical drive for burning those WMA's, you must buy a external USB drive to do that. Netbooks aren't for power users, if you plan on multitasking using MS Office and Photoshop, while being on Youtube streaming 720p - 1080p content, you're in for a surprise.

    VMWare Fusion/Parallels Pros: The next inexpensive solution allows you the flexibility to play with different operating systems without having to shutdown and restart your machine. You can use any OS as long as you meet the system requirements of that OS and your native OSX at the same time.

    VMWare Fusion/Parallels Cons: You need to buy VMWare Fusion or Parallels. When you run 2 different OS's at the same time the resources are shared. Which means if Windows expects to use 2GB of RAM and your Macbook has only 4GB of total RAM, your OSX install will only have 2GB to work with. This also applies to CPU processing power. Generally, people who intend on using VM (virtual machines) tend to want to have more system RAM installed into their machines. Lots of Mac users don't seem to understand that if they only have 4GB total RAM and they try to use Windows 7 64 bit in a VM, it takes an enormous amount of time just to boot the OS because 64bit OS's generally has 2x's the requirements of a 32bit version.

    This is why I suggested VMware/Paralles with XP. XP installations are 32bit, very simple. The system requirements are much lower than 32bit Windows 7, you can set the VM to use between 512MB and 768MB and that's more than enough for XP. XP Home is around $99, XP Pro is around $149, give or take.

    Again I fail to see what the OP is asking for, seems like she really doesn't know what she really wants to do. First is audiobooks, now it's about reselling Windows... what??? I've been working with PC's (Windows) for a very long time, nobody will likely want to buy a used-copy of Windows.

    Retail Box Windows is fine but when it comes to Windows 7, it doesn't differ from OEM versions, except for the product keys, retail keys differ from OEM keys (due to cost differences between OEM and Retail), the content for all intensive purposes are the same. All Windows 7 installations are full installations (i.e. Ultimate), what key you enter into the product key box determines which features are unlocked. If you purchased Windows 7 Home Premium and enter the key for it, the disc will only install and unlock features specific to the Home Premium package. That's why when you buy a Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade, you only get a key in the package, no disc. You enter that key, the OS unlocks the "Ultimate" features, you restart the machine and now it's upgraded.
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #15
    I agree with most of your post, but there is a lot in that part of your post that is inaccurate, and you basically force me to rant.

    Rant to come later this evening.

    For now I will simply point out that what you are describing is the "Anytime Upgrade" to Ultimate. There is also a retail upgrade to Ultimate that will install over Vista or from XP. These are very different beasts.

    B
     
  16. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #16
    A few clarifications might help.

    1. I would not be burning any audiobooks. After downloading the drm'd WMAs through Overdrive I would be transferring them to iTunes-Windows and from there to a Windows-formatted iPod for listening during the loan period. As long as the USB port works that would be okay, no need for an optical drive on the thing.

    2. If I need to purchase hardware or software for some limited purpose, possibly short term, then I usually try to get something I think that someone else in my extended family or neighborhood might be able to use. This is just how I like to do it, if possible. All my gear that I no longer need goes out the door that way. And, so does purchased software that I've uninstalled (e.g., World Book of some earlier year might be nice for neighbor's kid's old Mac I had already given them, an iLife bought for some ibook I had that croaked, but another family member's same ibook was still functional... etc). Think of it as my being a cheapskate on behalf of the neighborhood... I might spend a little more for my original purpose but the next guy gets the thing more or less new, totally legal (since I uninstall, keep no copies) and for a really right price, like pizza or mowing the side yard sometime. It might not make sense to you but it has worked for us... :)

    It's certainly true that I need to avoid getting something I cannot use, and I've said that I am a Windows novice. It was definitely helpful to point out that the 64bit installation might just about choke my MBP. Nice save! So I will be laughing about that for awhile, and trying to remember the takeaway lesson as well. Bigger is only sometimes better. Oh well, at least the retail pack comes with both options. So I as well as whoever gets the software later can make individual choice of which to install.
     
  17. Hyper-X, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2011

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Quite simply put there's many options for standalone and upgrades for Windows 7, as an OEM SB, we use a series of consolidated discs (or images) that has everything however we are getting off the OP's topic, what does any of that have anything to do with addressing her needs? That was the basis of my post. If your intent was to suggest to the OP that it was a good idea to purchase a retail copy of Windows 7 Anything just so she can listen to her audiobooks... that is what I was addressing.

    She is after listening to audiobooks in a particular format. The sensible solution is to provide a means that will do it with the most benefit to the user keeping it as simple and inexpensive as possible, and if possible keeping resource use down and as lightweight as it can be.

    Each option has its share of ups and downs, I crudely put them out for everyone to see. The simplest option isn't the cheapest, which is to simply buy a Windows Netbook or laptop. There's no configuring or learning curve as to how to load an OS, no messing with VM settings, just boot it up and go. The cheapest solution isn't the most flexible, it requires her to load Windows onto a Bootcamp partition, load drivers and hope everything works well, then she can shutdown OSX and boot into the Windows bootcamp partition.

    Win7 x86 (32bit) and WinXP (32bit)... both are good with 7 being on top by a significant margin, however that's looking at the entire OS as a whole for primary use. However WinXP's footprint and system requirements are much lower. For the absolute minimum system requirements...

    Win7 x86 = 1Ghz CPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB HDD space...

    Win7 x64 = 1Ghz CPU, 2GB RAM, 20GB HDD space...

    WinXP = Pentium 233Mhz, 64MB RAM (128MB Rec'd), 1.5GB HDD space.

    1. There'll be very little to no issues with your intent there. The only issue I see is iTunes which is written poorly for Windows, just need to be extra patient with it.

    2. Nice of you to keep others in mind. It's fine that you don't mind spending money but it's one thing for someone to underspend but you can easily overspend for things you really have no use for.
     
  18. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #18

    Yes, and the OP has made it quite clear that (a) she values reusability (b) she is not terrible price sensitive (since she is already considering either a full retail copy of Windows or netbook for this.)

    [RANT]

    My problem is with your statement that for OEM and retail "for all intensive purposes are the same."

    This is simply not true.

    Will they both work? Generally so, yet they are not the same.

    There are significant differences between OEM and retail licenses, the most important being that OEM is not licensed for use by end users, and the details of the licensing differences are described here: http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/licensing_for_hobbyists.aspx

    Per the OP's stated intents and purposes, this difference is key:
    OEM has other mechanical differences being that although you can use a Windows 7 retail disc to upgrade in place over Vista, you can't use an OEM disc and key to do the same only clean installs are possible. (While you can do the opposite and clean install from a retail upgrade disc quite easily).

    Also, as the OP said they might resell the system with Windows on it, there is also the fact that upon resale the OEM installer becomes responsible for supporting that install (instead of Microsoft). Do you really want to become tech support to some random person on CL?

    If you are already willing to bend the license and use OEM license, you might as well bend the license and use retail upgrade. It has none of the above limitations. It is licensed for use by end users and is (more easily) transferable to other hardware (virtual or not).

    And as to XP. It may be lightweight and a wonderful OS, but it is simply not as readily available as 7 at this point in time. Microsoft has discontinued it and it is on extended support. Most of the XP licenses you can buy are OEM and from less than major sellers. You can't simply get a copy at Newegg, where you can often find sale prices on 7.

    If XP is the right solution, the OP would IMHO best be served by picking up a used <$50 PC from CL and using that instead of looking for a copy of XP that will cost as much as a copy of Windows 7 that could ultimately have a longer useful lifespan.

    Who knows, maybe next year the library will be using a new form of DRM that is only supported on Vista or above. Or maybe the OP will want to run some new hot app that will only run under IE9.

    Will OEM and/or XP work for the limited purpose of library audiobooks? Sure.

    If you go into the decision with your eyes open and still decide to install XP in 2011 or to buy an OEM license when you are not an OEM that's fine. I just want to make sure that people like the OP understand the limitations of some of the proposed alternatives and make informed choices.

    Generally speaking, the only licenses of Windows that are unequivocally licensed for use on a Mac, for installation by end users, are full packaged retail product. If the OP is already willing to pay that much and is also looking or something they can transfer to a different configuration later why try to convince them otherwise?

    [/RANT]

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

    B
     
  19. Hyper-X, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    The entire point of OEM software licensing is about Microsoft not having to deal with inexperienced users for the cost of the OEM product. If you are a registered SB and have attended Microsoft Workshops, they'll tell you exactly that. For $99 they don't like the idea of supporting Mr. Newbie when they can get $199 from the retail box product, then they have no issue with supporting the end user.

    Irrelevant differences since the OP needs to clean install the OS, not upgrade it. This is what I said about for all intensive purposes. OEM or Retail, both will fulfill the OP's requirements for installing it from scratch except OEM will cost her about half as much.

    If she installs Windows as an OEM product, normally that labels her as the source of support. OEM Windows is designed to be installed onto a system, by Microsoft's definition that means the OEM Windows is tied to the motherboard, which she can't exactly change out on her Macbook Pro, so again it's a pointless discussion. When she sells her MBP, it'll likely be out of warranty, thus relieving her of her support requirements for any OEM Windows. If you think a machine built in 2002 is still required to be supported by the OEM in 2011 even though it still works and uses a OEM Windows License, you're mistaken.

    However no OEM whether it is her or any shop which preinstalls OEM Windows is responsible for supporting it beyond the machine's warranty period. If the machine has a 1 year warranty period, the system builder is no longer responsible for supporting any OEM Windows installed by them beyond that period. The end-user also must be made to understand that OEM support for Windows is tied into the original OEM reseller's system warranty period. If they were to insist on acquiring support from Microsoft and they identify the product with an OEM product key, it's very likely they'll turn away support and refer the end user to the OEM's warranty terms and instructions.

    You don't have to bend anything to stay within Microsoft's Licensing Agreements. Although we don't, many major distributors like Ingram Micro have sold OEM Windows bundled with a major system component. It doesn't say that the OEM Windows cannot be installed by end users, rather it is not intended to be done so (refer to newbie support above).

    Microsoft just wants to make sure that people calling in for support are those they got their $199 for the full retail product, which IMHO makes sense. The additional $100 is in place in anticipation for any support the end user may require.

    Old article but it still holds true. http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/01/8730.ars
     
  20. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #20
    Unfortunately, not so. Things have changed since 2007.

    Please read the current OEM/System Builder License yourself via the link I posted earlier or this direct link to the PDF. http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?PageID=552857 While there used to be an easy "out" in earlier System Builder Licenses, this "loophole" that also used to make resellers bundle it with a major system component (e.g. power cord) has been closed for some time now. Microsoft is making a concerted effort to stop end users from using OEM.

    From a more recent discussion of this issue: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/is-it-ok-to-use-oem-windows-on-your-own-pc-dont-ask-microsoft/1561

    While Ed Bott concludes that it is OK to use because the situation isn't clear, I say "why bother?" as it is not the only way to save some money.

    My read of the two licenses (before the change and after the change) is that it used to be quite easy to justify the "personal use" deal, as the System Builder License only kicked in when you resold the machine to a third party. In those days I was a strong advocate of using OEM versions where possible. Today....

    These restrictions were not in the earlier license so the system could be used "for internal testing" without violating the older System Builder License.

    If you go to buy W7 OEM from Newegg today you find this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986

    B
     
  21. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    We've been to Microsoft 2 months ago for a recent workshop involving Windows 8 application development, there were many questions regarding OEM licensing when it was allowed for open forum, it came straight from Microsoft themselves.

    Sir we are a registered Microsoft OEM System Builder, OEM licensing terms are always a topic for customers and we only relay what we're told directly from Microsoft themselves, as I explained above, it'll also answer your last comment in your recent post.

    Again we don't sell the raw OEM OS ourselves, but we're often asked because we do preinstall software on some of our workstation products and enthusiasts always inquire.

    So you reinforced what I last said about how OEM Windows OS's are to be handled.

    If you attended even 1 Microsoft conference or workshop, the subject of OEM licenses comes up at least once each time. They do have System Builder workshops to help clarify everything. Even the topic of what happens when the customer's motherboard were to blow up, is the OEM license dead along with that motherboard, is the customer required to buy a new license, or can support through the OEM with Microsoft be obtained.

    You make it sound like Microsoft's some cold Neo-Nazi company who aren't willing to to assist OEM's with support of their product. Again, the entire issue with OEM software and Retail versions is all about cost vs support. Microsoft doesn't want to support an inexperienced end-user that paid only $99 when the product meant to be bundled with support is supposed to cost $199. That extra cost is factored into the support. For $99, the OEM is tasked to support the end-user.
     
  22. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #22
    I'm certainly not saying that Microsoft enforces their own licenses or that everything their lawyers write is accurate. They certainly contradict themselves again and again as indicated in the Ed Bott article I linked to.

    Nothing about these licenses is clear. Even Steve Ballmer admits it: http://www.itpro.co.uk/615901/ballmer-dont-expect-simpler-licensing-soon

    You are coming at it from the point of view of someone who actually uses the OEM packages correctly, pre-installed and resold to unrelated third-parties. This is not the same as an end user who buys a "virgin" OEM package and installs it on their own PC without using the OPK and without then reselling the system as required by the license.

    Nothing in your last post contradicts what I am saying. OEM editions are licensed for System Builders, Microsoft supports those System Builders and they in turn support the end users they have sold the systems with OEM preinstalled on it. Of course Microsoft will support a registered OEM to replace a broken motherboard, etc.. They have made no such agreement with end users.

    If Microsoft wanted to make OEM a "retail license without support from Microsoft" they would have written the license that way. The fact that they explicitly, in writing, in fairly clear English language, direct end users away from such use is a pretty clear indication that it's not so simple.

    Everything Microsoft has in writing says that OEM versions are not for end users. e.g.

    The reality is that these license restrictions can be ignored without fear of something not working, just as OS X can be installed on plenty of systems that are not "Apple labelled" and retail upgrade does not actually require a currently activated installation of XP or 7 to be installed.

    Please point me to anything in writing from Microsoft, currently published on microsoft.com that says that OEM/System Builder is properly licensed when installed by an end user for their personal use. Anything you have heard in a System Builder seminar verbally does not count as it is not directed at end users.

    FWIW I've attended plenty of Microsoft developer and OS events as an end user.

    B
     
  23. Hyper-X, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    #23
    Microsoft has admitted that they're unsure sometimes about what the terms actually mean, this is what sparks those questions and inquiries by many not limited to the OEM's themselves but from normal end-users. Personally, I don't blame anyone for asking questions in relation to OEM Licensing, this is why our company has chosen to take our stance as it is.

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/is-i...nt-ask-microsoft/1561?tag=mantle_skin;content

    I'm glad we agree on this.

    The question has always been about what the real definition of a SB is. We are a Registered OEM SB, the OEM EULA does not state that you must be one in order to use it.

    You nor I are qualified attorneys so I think we need to steer clear of legal interpretations.

    FWIW, verbal in front of hundreds if not thousands is good enough for me, especially if it comes from the horse's mouth. I'm not the type of person who needs to watch a 5 ton boulder fall from a plane every inch of the way to know it's going to hit the ground over dry land to know that it will.

    A SB is an end-user, and OEM SB is a Registered identity with Microsoft, an official support channel for Licensed OEM products, there's a difference between the two.

    An OEM SB Workshop isn't directed at raw end-users, not sure where you want to go with that. I've been to nearly all workshops except those in 2006 when I was deployed overseas, no Unregistered End User were present in any of those workshops as you're required to present your OEM Identity upon entry. End User support comes directly from Microsoft Online, (email, web or phone support) for retail products and Certified/Licensed OEM Product Distributors/Resellers/SB's depending on what product was purchased.

    So what you're saying is because info came through verbally, even if it's straight from Microsoft, it's invalid. Not all of us are lawyers, we can't possibly know all the in's and out's of every legal matter governing their products, sometimes raw OEM's to include the big ones like Dell, HP and Panasonic... all the way to guys like us to the small computer shops like to ask the question straight up, and Microsoft has never failed to reply in the same, clear manner.

    If the issue was as hard and cold as you make it sound, no OEM product should ever be sold separate to anyone as it must be preinstalled using the OEM's custom OPK. The same goes for Apple, if they're so adamant about not using OSX on non-Mac hardware, they should never sell the raw software on retail shelves to anyone. They should have each potential OSX buyer bring their machine in, have their personnel install it onto a genuine Mac machine, all the end user should be required to do at time of pickup is click on YES to agree on the EULA... however such is not the case.

    You bring up Newegg which is a end-user channel for product distribution. You do realize that Newegg and Ingram Micro are the same company right? The difference is Ingram Micro distributes through OEM channels, no end-user affiliation, that's what Newegg was created for. We get our products through Ingram and Colfax Int'l for when we have special needs for items we don't normally stock. I've visted IM many times, nothing of what you say coincides with what actually goes on. I'm not trying to say that's how it's supposed to be but that's how it is. Newegg OEM products come from their Ingram Micro warehouses as no OEM product is, by your legal interpretation, supposed to ever reach end-user direct channels.
     
  24. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #24
    Stop right there. The System Builder License which I already linked to in PDF format earlier is not an EULA. The OEM EULA is a different agreement between the System Builder and the End User. When you buy an OEM package you are bound by the System Builder License not the EULA. I can provide a link to that one as well if you would like.

    The System Builder License requires the use of the OPK, and the only way to get the OPK is to be a registered System Builder. The confusion comes in because the actual installer on the OEM disc doesn't enforce this restriction.

    Just as the retail upgrade version does not enforce the license restriction of having a previously installed and activated copy of Windows Vista or XP.

    I've dealt with my share of attorneys and always read and try to understand any contract I am entering. Even click through ones. If nothing else, I don't want to break the contract, because I want to be able to keep the other party to their obligations. If I don't hold up my end of the bargain I

    I am not saying that verbal information is invalid, what I'm saying is that the only information I can go on and take to my lawyer is what is in writing. Any random MS employee can say what they want to, but does not necessarily represent the company's legal interests.

    Sale and use under the license are two completely separable things, and until fully tested by the courts even the lawyers won't know what sticks or not.

    Let me reiterate. I'm not saying don't bend or break the license, the jackbooted Nazi thugs will knock down your door and take you and your computer away. I'm simply saying, read the licenses for yourself, make your own determination and do what you want.

    And understand when you go "off license" that the other party has no legal obligation to hold up their side of the agreement.

    Example: I go down to Ace Hardware and buy an extension cored labelled "FOR INDOOR USE ONLY." Does this mean I physically cannot use it outside? No. What it means is that when my house burns down because water shorted out the cord I am unlikely to prevail in court, because I didn't hold up my end of the bargain.

    Link to back that up or I will treat that as more misinformation. I have certainly received some NewEgg shipments direct shipped from Ingram, and they are both based near LA, but that does not make them the same company.

    Finally, for an end user, what is the advantage of using OEM over retail upgrade? Especially since you can often get retail upgrade for $10-$15 less than OEM?

    B
     
  25. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #25
    I owned a netbook along with my mac. I sold it and got the iPad. The netbook just seemed dull and slow and boring.

    However, to your Windows situation, I just use boot camp and link Parallels & Fusion to the boot camp partition. Have the best of both worlds.
     

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