back to article Windows 7 OEM prices revealed

Online retailer NewEgg has coughed up OEM pricing details for Windows 7 this week, revealing deep discounts from the full retail version. If you want Microsoft's latest OS on the cheap and missed out on earlier promotions, it's certainly not a bad way to go. Strictly speaking, OEM copies are intended for computer builders, but …


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  1. Daniel Hall

    yeah but.....

    for those of us in the UK, this effects us how? We will still get ripped off.....

  2. Maisie Donaldson

    what is that in English?

    This is a truly useless story. You report what Microsoft retailers will be charging foreigners in a foreign country but there is no information about what we would be asked to pay, were we to give up the giddy delights of XP to buy this new thing.

  3. I herd cats.

    Waiting for...

    All the beard loving, basement living Linux users moaning about something.

  4. Simon Preston


    Ripped off? I got my copy of Pro for £80. For once us in the UK had a good deal.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Why is 64-bit more expensive?

    On the other hand, you are getting more bits for your rmoney....

  6. Herbert Meyer

    no shovelware !

    This linux user will skip the snark, and say that, unlike the pre-installs on all hardware manufacturer's retail boxes, the OEM version is strictly windows OS, no "trial" versions of applications, with a 30 or 90 day balloon payment, no crippleware, replaceable by "full" version at an additional cost, etc., etc. that burns up 300 gByte of disk, and nags you forever.

    So install OEM windows, start with a clean disk, and download nice, well behaved open source apps like openOffice, and save $ and disk. If you're not tech enough to just use linux (well, maybe a little snark).

  7. Doug Glass

    @Daniel Hall

    Yeah, you;re getting ripped off and we in the USofA are just getting half-a$$ ripped off. I'll just have to suck it up and keep my old XP.

  8. Andy ORourke

    Thats the way to do it!

    Thats the way I always install a new OS of any kind, new hard disk (normally bigger, faster & cheaper than the old one) bought alongside the OEM version of the OS in question.

    This leaves me a decent sized hard disk to stick in another USB caddy next to the PC offering another volume for storing all my valuable data.

    Did it with XP, did it with Vista, will do it with 7.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    money left

    looks like i will have money left for some beer

  10. Robert E A Harvey


    If I pay five pounds for a ten pound turd, is it still a turd?

    Mine is the one with a copy of Linux in the pocket

  11. h4rm0ny

    Too expensive.

    OEM or retail, it's still too expensive. Put the professional version at £60 and I would probably still buy it. £200 is way beyond what I'd pay unless I had to. And I don't. I have Ubuntu for a lazy, pre-compiled Linux system, Gentoo for a wizzy custom Linux system and XP Pro for when I want / need it. The Windows part of that trilogy will be staying on XP until those prices come down.

  12. Gil Grissum

    Not paying more than $100 for Windows 7

    Wouldn't it be funny if the large quantities of people did not rush out to buy the Windows 7 upgrade? Maybe the bankers and Stock brokers will be standing in line anxious to get Windows 7, but in this economy, the average consumer who still has a job and a computer aren't likely to be in a big rush to get Windows 7 any more than they were anxious to get Vista. Good Luck Microsoft.

  13. Nanki Poo

    @I herd cats

    "All the beard loving, basement living Linux users moaning about something."

    Nothing to moan about at all, thank you. My PC's fine.

    And don't like beards, too much stubble-rash, though I do live in a basement flat. Beautiful garden however.


  14. DrXym

    Got my Windows 7 today

    I was extremely impressed by the upgrade from Vista which managed to preserve all my apps & settings and the installer itself kicks off with about 3 clicks. I'm writing this post using the same Firefox which this morning was running on Vista. I fired up the same Virtual Box with Ubuntu in W7 that previously ran in Vista. Everything so far is working great.

    Installation took a while (too be expected I suppose since I have 500Gb of stuff) but afterwards I had a functioning desktop. As a developer I find this is mindboggingly impressive since I can't even begin to imagine all the complexity required to pull this off seamlessly.

    In terms of W7's behaviour now I have it running, the answer is it feels somewhat like vista but obviously a lot more polished. It is to Vista what XP was to W2K. Everything feels a lot tighter and refined. Annoyances like UAC have been toned down and the new task bar is a very nice addition. I also liked Media Center which does DVB-T/S/C in various incarnations which is very nice.

    Is it worth forking out hundreds for? If I hadn't been given it for nothing during a MTUG presentation then I would say no. It is a refinement, not a revolution. It feels a bit like an incremental update. Vista isn't half as bad as people complain about and works just fine once you slap the latest service pack on it. If you're running XP then probably you don't need anything more so just leave it the way it is until the PC needs replacement. Anyone who does install W7 on a desktop or a chunky laptop should go 64-bit since they'll benefit from a 10% speed boost.

    In summary W7 so far feels like a stable, highly refined, usable desktop, but one which probably does not warrant an upgrade for most people.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Herbert Meyer

    Good point. I'm planning to buy a new computer (current one can barely handle XP) and get a clean copy of 7 to avoid trying to uninstall the crudware it will come with. Much cheaper to get it OEM rather than retail.

    @Maisie Donaldson:

    Note that the author is in the US, so from his perspective it isn't a foreign country.

  16. Mike Echo

    I love the way

    marketing types avoid using certain terms like "basic" or "beginner". The cheapest, lowest-featured edition is called 'Premium', which is a word normally associated with higher-end stuff. Kinda like a hamburger chain not selling drinks called 'small' but offering 'regular' instead.

  17. Lewis Mettler

    more snark

    Does sound like the price for Ubuntu is a steal. Or, any of the other Linux versions.

  18. Charles Manning

    Apple already set the expected price

    Snow Leopard upgrade = $29. And, remember, MS paints Apple as rip off artists so they need to sell the W7 upgrade for $19.

    Apple advertisers are going to have a field day. "You can pay $110 for this shitpile. Perhaps you'd do better to make a down payment on a Mac."

    Perhaps that's the reason W7 needs all those launch parties. It's more of a wake than a celebration.

  19. Peter 39

    expected price

    MS is great at Marketing spin so they're saying that Win 7 is Great! Rah! Rah!

    Seems more like a Vista Service Pack to me, but maybe it's like the Leopard->Snow Leopard upgrade. That cost me $29, and I'd pay the same to upgrade my copy of Vista Business to Win 7 Pro.

    But $199. Steve - you have to be kidding! There is NO way that Win 7 *UPGRADE* from Vista should be that price. Find a way to extend the $30 "academic" deal to owners of Vista.

    Cluestick 101

  20. DrJaymansLoveCookie

    Got Snark?

    For $190, you could build a nice little machine w/your choice of distro.

  21. Brett Weaver

    Sorry to be boring.. but..

    If windows 7 will run faster than W2K3 on the same hardware, or run ONE SINGLE THING that I can't run on W2k3, then I will look at it.

    In the mean time I honestly dont understand why anyone would buy it. As far as I know, as a business user, there are no extra capabilities and no bang for the buck over Win2003 or XP...

    Thinking about the OEM version.. One of the reasons I run Windows 2003 is that it does not fire up huge amounts of unwanted processes everytime it boots up (unlike XP and specially vista). If loading the OEM version could allow me to keep the crap down to a minimum then that would be a GOOD THING should I have to implement 7 for some reason.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Mike Echo

    Agree too!

    Marketing types will not use any term that'll make the potential customer feel like they are not getting the full gen! "Home Premium" and "Ultimate", you feel like you already have something more than that which you paid for an it only gets better! Is there one lower than Home Premium for the real tight-wads amongst us?

    I think it will sell well, almost everyone agrees it's what Vista should have been, that word of mouth from the geeks and fanbois will sway Joe Public to go for it. I think MS might learn to be more patient next time, instead of rushing out a broken mess like Vista, try get it 90% right before rushing down to the duplication plant and out to the punters. The beta trial thingy certainly helped a lot.

    I liked XP, but I became a basement squatting, beard-fondling freetard 'cos I'm fed up with trying to keep up with knocking off "Billy's Baby" and too tight to buy it! Loved Windows 7 trial, really great O/S and I think it will do well when people put aside that Vista mindset. It's way better than XP, but I think I'll wait until there are a few "genuine" OEM copies on the world's favourite tat market, eBay!

  23. James O'Brien


    "(Linux folks may skip directly to the user comment section from this point to input snark)."

    Austin you are the MAN for putting that in an article. Best Line of the Year AFAIAC.

  24. Martin Owens

    Snark not required

    $110 to rent your software from Microsoft and have all the rights of a London lease-less tenant.

    Or pay $0 and get Ubuntu, which you actually get to own and control.

    Oh how we in the community shake with fear. *roll eyes*

  25. Mike Kamermans
    Thumb Up

    And then there's Dutch pricing...

    Home premium, 199 euro. Professional, 299 euro. Ultimate, 299 euro. No, you read that right.

    Mine's the one with the skull and crossbones back print.

  26. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Re:Got my Windows 7 today

    And you've barely just finished installing it that you're already waxing lyrical about how stable and "refined" it is. People's expectations have really been lowered, I guess.

    How about actually using it for a while before deciding if it is really all that good ?

    And by "a while", I mean a few weeks, like six or so.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    @Apple comments

    Yeah, well Apple can charge so little because you already got F'd in the A for the price of their hardware. When you've got a hardware lock-in it's practically a FIRMWARE upgrade... and they shouldn't charge anything at all for that.

    Regarding the stupid MS pricing... they know they can charge what they want to the end user, because about 90% of their OS revenue is corporate or OEM. The only people that actually PAY full whack for a shiny new retail copy of windows have a money:sense ratio exceeding 1.0, so will hand over whatever they're asked for.

    Incidentally, they benefit from piracy as it causes the ubiquity of their software to increase. They make it difficult enough to pirate to prevent auntie Flo from doing it, but not so hard that people who would otherwise install Linux won't run windows at least as a dual-boot.

    If I couldn't easily pirate each new version of windows that comes out, I'd be running Ubuntu right now. But it's actually slightly easier not to, and that's what MS want. They certainly don't want to eliminate piracy, but they want to stop the piracy that actually loses them revenue. The piracy that gains them market share for free, they're completely happy about. Oh, wait, shit- that means I'm part of the problem...

  28. Campbeltonian

    UK prices

    Those of you that are complaining about Rip-Off Britain out of instinct should take a look at the pre-order prices of Windows 7 on Amazon:

    Home Premium: £64.68 ($103.38)

    Professional: £148.00 ($236.55)

    Ultimate: £159.98 ($255.70)

    These are full retail versions, not upgrades or OEM versions. Prices include tax, unlike the US prices.

    This makes Professional and Ultimate cheaper in the UK than in the US, and makes the full version of Home Premium cheaper than the US OEM version. We're getting a significantly better deal here than over there.

    @AC 22:55

    The author may be American, but from his perspective he's working for a 'foreign' news company with a substantial readership in its country of origin. At the very least, the article should have made reference to the fact that these are US-only prices, but it didn't even do that - it assumed that the entire readership is American and is only concerned with American prices.

  29. Jonathon Green
    Gates Horns

    So how will we tell the difference...

    "The OEM version also requires a clean install that wipes the hard drive and comes with little to no support from Microsoft. It also comes with a bare minimum of packaging and no literature on the operating system."

    So, (with the dubious exception of the "Upgrade" installation option, which I've generally found to be something of a mixed blessing) it's just the same as the retail package then. Sounds like a bargain to me :-)




  30. Thomas Bottrill

    RE: UK prices

    Windows 7 Ultimate has actually gone as low as £149.48 on Amazon, as this is what my pre-order is currently costing me. It'd be interesting to see what the OEM prices will be in the UK, though I remember Vista Ultimate costing about £120 from eBuyer.

    Rather oddly, though, Amazon is still charging a tenner more for the upgrade version than the full verison of Windows 7 Ultimate.

  31. serviceWithASmile
    Gates Horns

    free win7

    I hear on the grape vine that there is a way to get a windows 7 upgrade for free if you have proof of purchase of vista, and you bought it from amazon.

    I know that narrows it down alot, but if you were gullible enough to buy vista for full price then you can make good on your massive mistake :P

    check the Windows7 FAQ's on amazon for more.

    Snark: Ubuntu ftw \m/

  32. Lionel Baden


    Nice defending

    +1 from me

    I happen to agree with defending this site as a BRITISH site. To many places on the tinternet just expect because it is a big / popular site it must be american.

    Although i have nothing about the odd american article, they could of included uk prices

  33. Peter Kay

    OEM is not the same as retail - remember the motherboard lock

    OEM has two key differences, which it's worth reiterating

    1) It's tied to the motherboard you install it on. If your motherboard dies, you need to purchase an identical motherboard. MS may provide discretion to use a different motherboard if yours is discontinued, but this is not an opportunity to upgrade to a better piece of kit - expect them to refuse to re-license if there's a substantial difference with your more modern motherboard.

    2) No support. OEMs provide the support, not MS. Retail comes bundled with five support instances.

    Code wise it's identical. Your license key dictates what it does.

    (There are also OEM versions made for very large manufacturers like Dell; these are activated in different ways).

    I've taken the opportunity to buy the full versions at discounted prices; it would have been nice to swap out my motherboard in the past, but I didn't fancy the hit of 100 quid or so for a new copy of Vista. Then again, I don't think I need to upgrade for a few years, by which time Windows 8 will be nearing release..

  34. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    Snark from a Windows user

    On the plus side, Win 7 (RC) installed impressively easily and quickly, identified all my hardware and worked as it seemed intended. A true measure of success though would only come from using it for a few weeks. It does seem to be Vista done properly.

    On the minuses, why bother to upgrade when XP is still fit for purpose ? I don't have any compelling reason to upgrade or any desire to upgrade hardware to support Vista let alone Win 7. If a Vista user I might be tempted, treat it as a Vista Service Pack, however the price asked is excessive when considered as such.

    My real problem with Win 7 is that it goes even further from my ideal of "Classic" 98SE and W2K look and feel, it's getting harder and harder to hide all the "aren't I pretty", "My First Operating System", eye candy and fluff which just gets in the way of power-user productivity. What really hurts is knowing I'm paying so much for this prettiness which is something I don't even want in the first place.

    It has cost me so much time, money and frustration in fixing my own and friends PC's, getting Windows to work as it is supposed to, over the years that I actually consider it a cheek for Microsoft to even be charging at all. But I'd probably stretch to paying a tenner.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Reg fail

    The Reg article is deliberately misleading as the author has failed to include the critical information that only those who are registered as 'System Builders' (not the literal definition of simply putting together the components, the Microsoft definition) are able to use OEM software, and the software must be deployed to the machine using the OPK (OEM Pre-installation Kit).

    Therefore unless these conditions are met, the software is going to be used against the terms of the licence which is just one up from downloading and cracking from your favourite resource, just with the effect that your wallet will be a bit lighter at the end of it and you still won't have a correctly licensed version of Windows.

  36. bex

    WRONG !!!

    @ OEM is not the same as retail - remember the motherboard lock

    Rubbish, the actual vendors discs may be locked but the keys are not tied to a specific manufacture

    If it won't activate the online activation service will always work (with a bit of lying as required) except yesterday when activation was broken (on xp anyway)

  37. Skyraker

    OEM Prices here are.

    £68 Home Premium

    £91 Professional

    £124 Ultimate

    ex VAT.

  38. captain veg Silver badge


    The MS marketers ought to get hold of a dictionary: ultimate means last, not best. Or perhaps they know something we don't?


  39. ChrisC Silver badge

    @Peter Kay

    "2) No support. OEMs provide the support, not MS. Retail comes bundled with five support instances."

    You know, this is one of those things which has always irritated me about Windows - why is it that those of us who build/maintain our own Windows systems and have never once even come close to picking up the phone and calling Microsoft for help, have the choice of either buying the retail version and forking out extra for the support we neither want nor need, or dancing around the legalities of obtaining an OEM version?

  40. Nik Owen
    Paris Hilton

    why pay this much?

    If people just pre ordered it, here in the UK it was even cheaper. I paid £49 for home premium and £30 for Pro 64bit (student copy).

    One for the laptop and one for my PC. first time i have ever bought any OS. always OEM or Beta.

    I just hope that the 64 bit now reads my ram properly, the W7RC 64 bit doesn't

    Paris.. because like windows she is full of holes!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    too much

    I thought the student price of £30 was good, but I'm not a student so no help there.

    And the only reason I'd spend £30 on Windows is because that's the kind of money I don't mind spending to take a punt on something (although I'd feel far more comfortable giving up only £15 or even £10)

    But I don't really want Windows 7 at all tbh. If I wanted go faster stripes I could paint them on to the machine myself.

  42. Peter Kay


    For the really large manufacturers, often the keys *are* tied to them. This was the case with Vista, where if you didn't have e.g. a Dell BIOS, the key would not work.

    This is why there were a number of BIOS emulator cracks floating around - so you could shove a version of Vista which doesn't need to be activated onto your machine, even though it's not a Dell/whatever.

    Offhand I can't remember if the same thing is in existance for Windows 7 - probably.

  43. Belxjander Serechai
    Paris Hilton


    Tried to install on a netbook ... needs the disc physically present,

    Installing from XP and into its own partition fails with a known error...

    booting it from inside VirtualBox at least worked... as for boot times...

    1 core for the VM and 1 core for the Host,

    1GB of memory (half each) and Ive got enough free HDD space to let it eat 40GB.

    Installed quickly, and insisted on the network connection (just having a valid network is enough)

    seems the "I want the Internet" bit is going to make problems of its own.

    especially since the Installer actually wants the HDD to be blank or have 20MB at the beginning

    entirely as free space ... lovely.

    Seems like its trying to force everything to be "I am THE OS you use"... typical arrogance

    Im surprised it simply doesnt let you pick the device and re-writes everything.

    still cant get past actually getting an XP SP3 CD with a machine that doesnt actually HAVE

    a CD drive.... that still gives me giggle fits...

    Installing Gentoo linux as 2nd OS was boringly simple with USB boot options...

    try that with a wintendo?.... hello FreeDOS and use the installer from that...maybe?

    seems completely ironic... needs the Free DOS to make Windows functionally installable

    otherwise not having any kind of installation option without errors

    Im still gonna call it "Wintendo" since its trying to be a knock-off of the old style Japanese

    Famicom boxes (newer ones are Playstation and Wii) ...

    Nice try... still looks like a 3 yr olds playpen block set with all the pretty color scheme...

    needs to have the option of letting the user define the UI "prettyness" and quit the

    "Installing Windows for the first time" messages...

    Paris Icon... may have a brain in her head... Microsoft appears to have brains too,

    but the published version of Windows seems to be like the public "air head" persona

    that is presented...

    Just cause it "appears to look good" doesn't mean it is... painted gold shit is still shit.

    even when "that looks perrdy" (imitation texan drawl for ++WTF++)

    Rah rah rah... OS is OS... not some attempt at a permanent party...

    as for the "release party" crud ... Im surprised people accepted being paid to switch brains off

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Snark, snark

    Why would anyone buy an operating system that invariably won't work on your existing hardware. Windows comes "free" with a new computer, which is guaranteed to be able to handle it... right?

    I'm running an 8 year old Dimension with linux. £aughing all the way to the bank.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Borked pricing

    The clusterfucked pricing for W7 is starting to get on my tit-end.

    I have 3x Home Premium and 1x Professional pre-ordered with Amazon. It seems I'm going to have to mix-and-match between retail and OEM to get the better deal.

    The Home Premium is ~£65 each for the pre-ordered retail, cheaper than the OEM, whilst the Professional is cheaper on the OEM: ~£100 compared to ~£150 pre-ordered retail.

    I'm not going to cancel on the pre-order, instead I'm going to wait until I receive them then see how the OEMs are priced and take advantage of the seven days part of the distance selling regulations.

    I think I still have an XP CD somewhere...

  46. Cantankerous Old Buzzard

    Thank you for your kind permission

    "(Linux folks may skip directly to the user comment section from this point to input snark)."

    What I find most interesting in the comments here is that it seems that snark from Windows users is matching, if not exceeding, the snark from those of us who choose a different path from what the Overlords of Redmond ( sometimes known as the rain-soaked mental defectives in the Pacific Northwest ) would force upon us.

    Occasionally, I think that there may yet be a few people in the Windoze user community capable of rational thought.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    OEM can sell OEM Windows 7 only with hardware purchase

    Hi, you have made an error in this article. OEM software can be obtained from any Microsoft OEM system builder, not just Newegg. Also you must purchase it with a piece of internal computer hardware. However it can be just a internal cable or cd. Me thinks you got paid to promote Newegg in this article, there are thousands of online resellers who can sell Microsoft OEM Software, which also includes Office, and other software manufacturers.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Call yourself an OEM, ah, you're just a customer...

    HI, a real OEM get Windows 7 cheaper than Newegg. For a customer to buy OEM software, you must buy a computer hardware component on the same invoice. For a real OEM he buys it from authorized Microsoft OEM distributor at a better price and no hardware is required. We can by 1, 3 or 30 copies at a time.

  49. regadpellagru
    Gates Horns

    @Gil Grissum

    "Maybe the bankers and Stock brokers will be standing in line anxious to get Windows 7, but in this economy, the average consumer who still has a job and a computer aren't likely to be in a big rush to get Windows 7 any more than they were anxious to get Vista. Good Luck Microsoft."

    I've actually been surprised of how many people rushed to Vista and its new GUI, forgetting, possibly because win98 is so behind us now, any element of prudence.

    Taking this, plus the ripoff policy of Vista only on new PC and the no-install disk of integrators, what I'm curious about, is how many of those folks, having crashed into the Vista wall, will spit so many bucks again for the service pack, while their neighbour having stayed out of Vista, will happily enjoy XP running at the same speed, with the same features or more.

    Most of Vista sales were poor captive Joe Average sold a laptop with Vista. They won't be buying yet another one for win7 ...

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Free is better

    7loader ftw!

  51. Michael Schmidt

    Great price!

    Linux couldn't ask for better marketing. I've run Ubuntu for three years and have no Microsoft products. Couldn't be happier. Linux continues to improve - enhanced read-write reliability, ext4, expanded hardware compatibility, and USB 3.0 support. All software updates come automatically from a single repository. Ubuntu is working towards a 10 second boot time. From Microsoft, "improvement" means a flashier display, lack of backward compatibility, greater use of hardware resources, and increased measures to protect the company from pirates.

  52. Gradivus

    Tongue in cheek

    Or you could get a Mac.

    Snow Leopard - £25 retail.

    One size fits all. Open the box and there's single disc encompassing ultimate, home, premium, home ultimate; 32 bit, 64 bit, etc. All rolled into one.

  53. Anonymous Coward

    Lack of support

    "The OEM version also requires a clean install that wipes the hard drive and comes with little to no support from Microsoft."

    You've never actually tried Microsoft 'support' have you?

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