Until recently, Microsoft offered two options for folks wishing to pre-order Windows 7: either pay full price for a complete license or buy the cheaper upgrade edition, which requires you to install a legit copy of XP or Vista beforehand. Well, there's now a third option: OEM editions.
Newegg now carries OEM versions of all three retail Windows 7 editions, and the e-tailer is selling them at a special discount until October 20 (two days before the official launch). The promotion takes $10 off the price of Windows 7 Home Premium OEM, $5 off the Professional edition, and $15 off Ultimate. Behold:
|Windows 7 Home Premium||Windows 7 Professional||Windows 7 Ultimate|
As you can see, OEM copies cost quite a bit less than even upgrade packages—and they don't require a spare Vista or XP license to latch onto. What's the catch? As we understand it, an OEM license is tied to a single system, so you won't be able to carry it over to a different PC if you upgrade again. Microsoft won't offer technical support, either. Still, these are great deals if you're building a new PC now or if the limitations don't bother you.