Is it okay to buy Windows 7 OEM?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by dragunzng, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. dragunzng

    dragunzng Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So I'm building a new system in a couple of weeks and have most of the parts, all I need now is the OS and I'm thinking of getting Windows 7 Home Premium's OEM version. The only thing that's got me a little worried is that it's 100 bucks cheaper than buying the regular version. I mean, if the OEM comes with the complete software package (which it does as far as I know) why is there a regular version still on sale for twice the price?

    I guess I really just want a second opinion letting me know whether the OEM version is indeed feature complete.
     
  2. Amaris

    Amaris Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    OEM is cheaper because usually it comes bundled with something, which makes it legal. If you buy OEM separately, then technically you're not purchasing it as it is meant to be purchased, although usually the store you buy it from throws in something to make it legal to buy the OEM version. That being said, the OEM version is the same as retail in every other way, save for the branding (i.e., DELL, HP, Acer, branding, etc).

    J.
     
  3. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    My sons and I each bought a copy, and have had no problems whatsoever outside of the odd compatibility issue (old printer). They each got Win 7 Ultimate, I picked up Win 7 Pro, and each installed nearly flawlessly, and is outfitted with about everything. The only problem was when son #1 had no previous Windows installed on his machine, necessitating a registry tweak to get it to install properly. Then again he was installing from an upgrade disk of Win 7 Ultimate.

    This is a pretty nice comparison between the various flavors: comparing various Win 7 editions.
     
  4. dragunzng

    dragunzng Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Many thanks guys, OEM t'is!
     
  5. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Admiral Premium Member

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    I got 2 copies (desktop & laptop) of Win7 Ultimate OEM. Both installed fine and I have gotten all available updates and activation went OK.

    Like stated earlier, they are supposed to come with a system and/or be used by a system builder, but are being sold by themselves, by Amazon & TigerDirect, to name a couple.

    The main issue is, there will be NO support available from MS (unless *maybe* if you pay for it after the fact). It says in the "small print" that the system builder must provide support to the end user.

    And I think any compatibility issues are not related to using an OEM, but that there are going to be compatibility issues regardless with a new OS. Especially with older hardware.

    You just have to find the right drivers that are made for W7, or Vista if there aren't any W7 ones available.
     
  6. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Commodore Premium Member

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    Just understand that the difference between a regular version and an OEM is the license.

    An OEM is licenced to one computer only for it's entire life. You cannot use the OS on a new computer.

    A regular edition, you can "retire" your old computer and transfer the OS to a new computer.

    It makes the most difference if you change motherboards, or a large sum of other parts. Eventually the computer will classify as different enough to be a "new" computer. You then do not have a license anymore to use your OS.

    You can phone Microsoft and tell them the story of how there was a lightning strike and your power supply overloaded even through your surge protector and your hard drive had been fortunately disconected at the time but then when you tried to start up again the motherboard blew. When they service rep wakes up after your long story, they will give you a new activation code.

    When you pay $100 for a full version you are just buying unlimited hardware changes with no hassles from activation.
     
  7. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    If you have a student email, Microsoft has been selling this for $30 for a while now through their online store and over the phone.

    I got a full retail version of Win7 professional that way, shiny blue box and all. :)
     
  8. Iasius

    Iasius Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^ If you're a student, make sure to check whether you can get it for free through MSDNAA first.
     
  9. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't say I was a student, only that I still had a .edu email address ;)
     
  10. Alpha_Geek

    Alpha_Geek Commodore Commodore

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    OEM versions don't get official microsoft tech support. For windows support issues, the OEM System Builder is supposed to brand the built system with their logo and support information (My Computer... Properties).

    Unless you plan on calling Microsoft for their less than stellar support, the OEM version should be OK.
     
  11. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Admiral Premium Member

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    X1000. Very few outfits have any kind of good support anyway.

    And if MS isn't going to do something serious about preventing the sale of the OEM by itself, it's their loss.

    Hauppauge & ASUS have been pretty helpful when I've called them. Even got English speaking persons each time and their first words weren't "did you reinstall ?".
     
  12. Alpha_Geek

    Alpha_Geek Commodore Commodore

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  13. Iasius

    Iasius Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It wasn't directed at you specifically. I just wanted to point that out to anyone reading this thread, especially as someone who paid retail for Vista before I found out I could have gotten it for free. :)
     
  14. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Though I did have once HP tell me to called Microsoft when I had an issue with OEM version of Windows XP.