Now OEM prices have
been unveiled by online retailer Newegg.com.
Newegg says it will be offering Windows 7 Home Premium for $99.99,
less than the suggested full (not upgrade) Home Premium license price
of $199.99, and less than even the $119.99 suggested upgrade license
price. OEM Professional and Ultimate licenses will be priced at
$134.99 and $174.99, respectively.
Typically, Microsoft has
offered OEM licenses as a means for computer builders to upgrade to
the latest version of Windows. With the advent of online
retailers, though, its been increasingly easy for everyday users to
purchase OEM licenses -- and there's nothing technically preventing
them from doing so.
Those looking to take the OEM route for a
cheap upgrade must consider a handful of downsides. First, the
install will wipe out any data on your hard drive, unlike the Upgrade
edition, so its important you back your data up beforehand.
Also, you are not permitted to transfer the license from one machine
to another. Microsoft also offers no support for its OEM
licenses, so be prepared to be scouring online resources if you have
In comparison to Windows Vista OEM, Windows 7's OEM
prices are ever-so-slightly cheaper, with Home Premium being
identical to Vista, and the Professional and Ultimate editions coming
in at $5 cheaper than their Vista counterparts.
that it is currently taking pre-orders on the OS. The pre-order
program will run until October 20. Two days later, on October
22, Windows 7 will be officially released and start shipping.
those looking to upgrade their computers, the student discount
program remains the cheapest option. The expired pre-order
program was the second cheapest option, and now a third option -- an
OEM edition -- provides a slightly more expensive alternative to
those who missed the pre-order and can't get a student discount.