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Windows 7: OEM or Upgrade?


27 Nov 2010   #1

Window 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 
OEM or Upgrade?

Which did you get?

Why?

Did price help your final decision?


Just wondering, price is a thing for me and everyone, but is it worth the few extra bucks for upgrade rather than OEM?

Thanks,

D.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I generally buy OEM because it's cheaper and because unlike the upgrade, I can install it on any PC and then activate without issues. The only legal limitation is I can't legally transfer it to another PC. Also, I don't get any support from Microsoft as with OEM, it's legally supposed to be sold to someone else for whom you will then provide the support. However, the enthusiast market continues to buy OEM because it's cheaper. Retail buys you a right to support from Microsoft but I don't really care about that as I rarely call for support issues. Also, with an upgrade edition, it becomes a bit more complicated to do a clean install.

Is it worth the extra money for the upgrade edition vs OEM? Some licensing sticklers will say yes because you're not legally supposed to buy OEM if you're not going to sell the PC you put it on. Frankly, I'd say go OEM if it's cheaper unless you have some compelling need for support from Microsoft. The other restriction with OEM is that again, you legally can't transfer said license to another PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

OEM Because It Is Cheaper But You Need To Get It With A Product. An Upgrade Is Expensive And Not Worthert!
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27 Nov 2010   #4

Window 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Darician View Post
I generally buy OEM because it's cheaper and because unlike the upgrade, I can install it on any PC and then activate without issues. The only legal limitation is I can't legally transfer it to another PC. Also, I don't get any support from Microsoft as with OEM, it's legally supposed to be sold to someone else for whom you will then provide the support. However, the enthusiast market continues to buy OEM because it's cheaper. Retail buys you a right to support from Microsoft but I don't really care about that as I rarely call for support issues. Also, with an upgrade edition, it becomes a bit more complicated to do a clean install.

Is it worth the extra money for the upgrade edition vs OEM? Some licensing sticklers will say yes because you're not legally supposed to buy OEM if you're not going to sell the PC you put it on. Frankly, I'd say go OEM if it's cheaper unless you have some compelling need for support from Microsoft. The other restriction with OEM is that again, you legally can't transfer said license to another PC.

Thanks for your input. So, if I was to buy another piece of hardware with it, I'd be ok?

D.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dooglo View Post
Thanks for your input. So, if I was to buy another piece of hardware with it, I'd be ok?
That restriction has been pretty loose for quite some time now, and the onus to stick to it wouldn't be on you the buyer...it would be on the seller. When places like Newegg, MicroCenter, etc all sell the OEM version as a standalone product, you have nothing to worry about, in terms of the purchasing.

The license restrictions with OEM are very well known, well documented, well debated, etc etc etc...to the point we don't need to rehash them anymore. They are what they are, and what you choose to do with the EULA is up to you.

If it was me, I certainly wouldn't pay more money for the Upgrade.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Technically, when you purchase an OEM copy of Windows, it's supposed to as part of some form of hardware, usually a complete PC, or sufficient components from which a pc can be built.

The last ever retail edition of an OS that I purchased was MS-DOS 5.0, and have been purchasing OEM editions since them. Primarily because it's cheaper. Truth be told, I've never even seen an off-the-shelf retail edition of Windows XP, Vista or Seven. Distributors and retailers alike here in South Africa want to make money, and if they flat out refuse to sell OEM copies to customers, then they go out of business, because the customers simply go somewhere else where they can get the same thing cheaper elsewhere.

The only real difference between OEM and retail editions are the packaging.

I stopped buying upgrade editions of any software years ago because of some nasty experiences. For example, here's how I used to install Windows 95:
  1. Install DOS 5.0
  2. Upgrade to DOS 6.0
  3. Upgrade to DOS 6.2
  4. Install DOS 6.22 Step-Up
  5. Install Windows 3.1
  6. Upgrade to Windows 95
Sure, it's become easier these days, and it is indeed possible to "clean install" Windows Vista or Windows 7 from upgrade media, but why go through that effort to save a few bucks? I actually performed a test with a friend not very long ago where we both re-installed our computers at the same time.

I used a full OEM copy of Windows 7, and he used upgrade media. I was finished installing all my drivers and primary application software by the time he had completed his Windows 7 installation, and I was keeping myself occupied by playing Solitaire...

Long story short: Upgrade media saves you money, but is not worth the lost time and effort.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #7

Window 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks guys. Really appreciate your smarts in the matter.

D.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #8

 

Sorry to sound like a newb but what does OEM mean? I just bought windows 7 home premium upgrade and it was cheaper than the full version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Original Equipment Manufacturer. It basically translates to a license supplied by one of the computer OEM, such as Dell, HP, etc. You can buy OEM licenses, but they are technically meant to be used on one and only one computer, just like the license you get with a Dell laptop, for example. If you do some searching, you'll find a ton of info and debates on what you can and can't do with an OEM license. I'd rather not bring it up, because it usually turns onto an argument.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Handycam View Post
Sorry to sound like a newb but what does OEM mean? I just bought windows 7 home premium upgrade and it was cheaper than the full version.
Yes, the Upgrade is cheaper than the Full Retail, but the OEM is cheaper than both of them. All three have the same files. The only difference is what the license says on them which was discussed above.
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 OEM or Upgrade?




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