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windows 7 ultimate (promo version)?


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I've seen Windows 7 Ultimate x32 on the internet for sale for cheap, but it states it is the promo version and full retail.

What's different about the promo version vs. any other version i.e. OEM vs. retail?

Perhaps it is the CD key. Hopefully, one isn't stuck not being able to transfer it to another

PC in the future if I upgrade the PC.

Edited by mikesw
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Vista Ultimate Promo Kit versions were not retail copies, but just a DVD in a sleeve that were offered at developer events and to MSDN and Technet subscribers in 2008. It was a full version, but it is not a retail copy and you had to register it on a website before June 30, 2009 to get a product key.

Well, now there are Windows 7 Ultimate Promo Kits out there as well (these were given out at launch to the Win7 party participants, MSDN and Technet subscribers that won a raffle, and there was another raffle but I don't remember what that was for specifically). It's worth noting that just like the Vista promo kits, they're "NFR" (not for resale) versions (and are labeled as such on the sleeve), so I would avoid buying them. If it comes in a box, unless it's the signature version given out with the Win7 party kits (that *is* a retail version), it's an NFR promo kit and you should try and steer clear. If it is in a box, but has no NFR in the upper left-hand corner, it's more than likely an OEM version (or worse, a counterfiet/warez version) and you should investigate further.

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Great info. When I first saw this, I assumed MSoft gave out XX amount of copies to each reseller

to stir up interest in Windows 7 and accepted taking a loss and once these were soldout, Windows 7

would be sold at the normal retail price.

Yesterday pricegrabber.com was triggered notifying me of windows 7 ultimate that was below $200.00.

However, this storefront was selling an x32/x64 preactivated non-OEM version for $60. What a steal, and

one person actually bought one. When I looked at the photographed CD covers they posted, it showed only

x32 and also stated "Not for resale". When I emailed the storefront about this, I got an email notification

from pricegrabber stating a reply had been posted, but when I went to read it, it wasn't there - nor was the

storefront anymore.... Hey! to bad that when they scanned the CD cover that they didn't scan the

license # too so that when I blew it up, I could read the license - thus no purchase required then. (yes,

it was preactivated, but maybe other retail sites could do this and save me the trouble of having to purchase it)

:) Darn...

As for the Promo versions, alot of legit small biz sites are selling software from MSoft ,(and also list

themselves on pricegrabber.com) are selling the Promo versions as full retail for $170.00. So its good to know to

steer clear of this stuff too.

Another pricegrabber.com site www.softwaresurplus.com sells reasonably priced windows 7, but because of the low

cost I emailed them to make sure their website didn't mislabel the product being sold as retail when in fact it is maybe

Academic. The response I got back said their store policy stated all the stuff they sold was Academic. However,

the actual product didn't state this. I searched via google and their site for Academic to find their store policy.

I didn't find any policy let alone reference to Academic. Thus, I emailed them and asked if they could produce the

link so that I could read it for myself. So far, I've got no response. Thus, this site could be misrepresenting

MSoft products under the wrong product type of retail,OEM, Academic.

A big question is on OEM. Quite a few sites infer that it is no different than Retail. Others state that OEM means it

is locked to the computer it is installed on and can't be reinstalled again should your HDD fail on your computer

or if you upgraded your computer and want to move it there. Other sites have a combination of this, for example.

They list Msoft OEM, meaning the product is locked and non-transferable to a new HDD or upgraded computer. Then

they also list Adobe OEM, which they state it is transferable.

Thus, if one is going to purchase OEM software because it is cheaper than retail, and one can do without the

packaging and manuals, then one should email support at the software company that wrote the software and

not the reseller and get their explanation for the particular software product you want to buy - directly from the horses mouth. Make sure one specifies the exact product since the OEM definition may be different across the various products

they sell - don't assume one explanation applies to all of their products.


Edited by mikesw
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A big question is on OEM. Quite a few sites infer that it is no different than Retail. Others state that OEM means it is locked to the computer it is installed on and can't be reinstalled again should your HDD fail on your computer or if you upgraded your computer and want to move it there. Other sites have a combination of this, for example.
I can't speak to Adobe OEM software, but for Microsoft OEM software there are real reasons it is cheaper:

  1. No support from Microsoft for OEM software - you have to contact the OEM that sold you the computer with the OEM software installed for any support you require (and thus, if you bought OEM software and installed it on your PC, *you* are the OEM and you need to contact ... yourself ... for Microsoft support... :P).
  2. The OEM Windows license is tied to the machine it was installed on, and cannot be moved. It can be installed and reinstalled (if necessary) on this machine multiple times, but it cannot be moved. In this case, this means that if you buy a new PC in the future you will need to buy another copy of Windows if you want to install Windows on the new machine. Retail installations do not have this limitation, and can be removed from one machine and reinstalled on another. The only place that OEM software machine tying does not apply would be if you purchased the software and reside in Germany, or in a country with no IP laws, as Germany did outlaw OEM software tying and as such you can resell OEM software there. However, since you appear to reside in the US, you would be allowed to install OEM software only on one PC, and it stays with that PC going forward, forever.
  3. With Windows 7, Microsoft has removed the verbiage that allows home users to buy an OEM license for Windows 7 and install it on their own PC and has made it clear that you MUST resell the PC you build and install OEM Windows 7 on (*and* you MUST use the OPK tools to install Windows 7 OEM as well), and this is a distinct change from Vista and previous versions - meaning if you want a legitimate copy for home, you could buy an OEM copy and install it on your own PC, but that would technically violate the licensing agreement for OEM Windows 7.

You can read more about OEM licensing for Microsoft software here. While a lot of folks whine about Microsoft licensing and legalese being complicated, I find EULAs and licensing agreements from Microsoft to be pretty straight-forward, in general, especially the Windows EULA. Versions of Windows prior to Windows 7 had an OEM software EULA that clearly stated that you COULD purchase OEM software for installation on your personal computer, but the Windows 7 OEM EULA explicitly removed the wording - and in keeping with the directive that if it's not a clearly allowed or defined usage right in the EULA, it is not a right one has with the software (barring a law on the books that explicitly allows certain behaviors, like reverse-engineering or fair use). I think that's the problem most people who read EULA's have - they read them and assume if <x software usage> isn't explicitly covered and denied in the EULA, that it's allowed, when in fact the exact opposite is true.

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