Win8 to include personal license for DIY system builders


— 9:50 AM on August 21, 2012

Microsoft has added a new user license for Windows 8. Dubbed the Personal Use License for System Builders, this license is designed for folks who build their own PCs or who want to run Win8 in a virtual machine. It's the first time Microsoft has acknowledged DIY system builders formally. With previous versions of Windows, enthusiasts have had to spring for the full retail version or use an "OEM" flavor meant for vendors who sell pre-build systems, not individuals who build their own.

ZDnet has snippets of the EULA defining the new Windows license. Microsoft has reportedly simplified this user-agreement document, replacing the legalese with "simple, easy-to-understand language." It's about time.

OEM copies of Windows have traditionally been cheaper than retail-boxed versions, but Microsoft hasn't revealed specifics about Win8 pricing just yet. Let's hope the usual OEM discount extends to the personal-use license. ZDNet reckons Windows 8 will cost less than its predecessor overall and that the personal-use and upgrade licenses will be inexpensive because Microsoft plans to sell them directly to consumers, sans retail packaging.

We already know Microsoft will be offering $40 Windows 8 Pro upgrades for a limited time after the OS's release. A "source familiar with Microsoft's plans" quoted by The Verge claims the full version of the Win8 Pro will cost $70 until January 31, after which the price will shoot up to $200. For reference, retail copies of Windows 7 Pro have a $300 list price and are available for as little as $265 right now. The OEM version costs about half as much.

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