Windows 8 may drop full retail edition in favor of OEM and upgrade options

By on July 13, 2012, 12:30 PM

Microsoft has traditionally sold full, upgrade, and OEM System Builder editions of Windows at retailers. But according to Windows Weekly co-hosts Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, the company is planning to change how it distributes its operating system, ditching the full retail version of Windows 8 this time around in favor of the presumably cheaper OEM option for home users building a PC.

In the past these licenses were intended for small-scale system builders and supposed to be sold by retailers with a piece of hardware — but many including Newegg and Amazon have offered it as a standalone purchase. Unlike full retail copies of the OS, they offered no phone support or fancy boxes, and in theory banned users from transferring the operating system from one PC to another.

It’s unclear if the same restrictions will apply once full retail editions of Windows are no longer available and if Microsoft sell these System Builder editions at the same relative low-prices it has in the past -- for reference, the OEM edition of Windows 7 Home Premium was priced at $110, nearly 50% off Microsoft's list price of $200 for the full version and about 10% less than the $120 price of the upgrade.

So far Microsoft has only revealed the special promotional price for users running XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, which is set at a mere $39.99 through January 31, 2013. Also, those who bought a Windows 7 PC after June 2 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99.




User Comments: 10

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treeski treeski said:

Why not just drop the OEM one and lower the price of the full?

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Or you could just torrent it with a key generator upon release and problem solved...

MilwaukeeMike said:

Or you could just torrent it with a key generator upon release and problem solved...

That works for other things too... like if you're in the grocery store and you wish the steaks cost less, just walk out the entrance with your cart and skip the checkout line. Problem solved

CryVer CryVer said:

Or you could just torrent it with a key generator upon release and problem solved...

That works for other things too... like if you're in the grocery store and you wish the steaks cost less, just walk out the entrance with your cart and skip the checkout line. Problem solved

It also works well if you switch motherboard on your PC and hate going through the automated phone support to get a new code. This is really annoying if you have more than one PC that you switch motherboard on.

killeriii said:

Or you could just torrent it with a key generator upon release and problem solved...

That works for other things too... like if you're in the grocery store and you wish the steaks cost less, just walk out the entrance with your cart and skip the checkout line. Problem solved

No, that would be stealing.

It would be more like going to the grocery store with your portable replicator, and copying the steaks.

Guest said:

All this talk about steak is making me hungry.

Guest said:

You could run any of the many Linux distros for free. I've been using Windows since 2.x, so I've been a long time Windows user. Windows 8 has forced changes on the user, so I figured if I had to learn something new, I might as well looks at other options. Apple equipment is expensive and being locked in doesn't apeal to me, so I looked at Linux. A freind gave me an old laptop and I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on it. The more I play around with it, the more I like it. There are tons of free or low cost software available, you have a choice of every aspect of the OS. Linux is built for the user, where the user may decide what works best for him/her.

Doctor John Doctor John said:

If anyone knows where I can get a steak-copying replicator, I'm really interested....

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

I heard Joe's Hardware has some in stock. :p

Guest said:

Contrary to what M$ would love people to believe there is nothing illegal about xfering an OEM version to another system. EULA's are NOT ENFORCEABLE in any legal manner for this and M$ knows it. Same thing as was recently upheld in court over resale of video games. 1st sale doctrine people... defend it!

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