Deal of the week: Windows 7 OEM arrives

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
OEM (64-bit) $99.99 $134.99 $174.99
OEM (32-bit) $99.99 $134.99 $174.99
Upgrade $119.99 $199.99 $219.99
Full $199.99 $299.99 $319.99

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.

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