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Windows 8.1 OEM or Something Else?

I am building a new PC soon and I would like to know what Windows 8.1 to get. I heard that the OEM version will not allow upgrades to the PC and that I will only be able to install it once so if the hard drive dies or I get a new hard drive then I will have to buy a new Windows 8.1 disc.

1. Will I be able to upgrade the PC down the line without buying a new Windows 8.1 disc?

2.Will I be able to use the disc on another PC, even if I have to uninstall from the older PC?

3. Are there alternate versions to the OEM version?

4. Is the install motherboard locked, preventing motherboard upgrades or replacement?

Please may someone give me a clear and up to date answer on Microsoft's license for the OEM version of Windows 8.1.

Thank you for your help.
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about windows oem
  1. Have you ever used Win8 on a desktop before? It is totally different that Win7. Lots of folks (including me) hate it. Like trying to unlearn everything you learned before. But if you like your PC looking like your phone, it may be for you.
  2. That doesn't answer my question.
  3. Best answer
    1. Will I be able to upgrade the PC down the line without buying a new Windows 8.1 disc?
    Yes

    2.Will I be able to use the disc on another PC, even if I have to uninstall from the older PC?
    Yes
    3. Are there alternate versions to the OEM version?
    Retail (Includes M'soft support)and Upgrade (Requires activated earlier version of Windows)
    4. Is the install motherboard locked, preventing motherboard upgrades or replacement?
    No, you can upgrade any time.

    Unlike W7 you can install as many times as you like and on different/upgraded systems, as long as only one at a time...
    You will probably have to activate Windows using the Automatic Telephone Service after mobo upgrades or shifts to other systems.
  4. dodger46 said:
    1. Will I be able to upgrade the PC down the line without buying a new Windows 8.1 disc?
    Yes

    2.Will I be able to use the disc on another PC, even if I have to uninstall from the older PC?
    Yes
    3. Are there alternate versions to the OEM version?
    Retail (Includes M'soft support)and Upgrade (Requires activated earlier version of Windows)
    4. Is the install motherboard locked, preventing motherboard upgrades or replacement?
    No, you can upgrade any time.

    Unlike W7 you can install as many times as you like and on different/upgraded systems, as long as only one at a time...
    You will probably have to activate Windows using the Automatic Telephone Service after mobo upgrades or shifts to other systems.


    Thanks for the help!
  5. dodger46 said:


    Just a couple things I want to ask, Does that license work on Win 8.1 and if so how do I use it.

    sorry for the nooby questions!
  6. OMGninjakiller said:
    dodger46 said:


    Just a couple things I want to ask, Does that license work on Win 8.1 and if so how do I use it.

    sorry for the nooby questions!

    The licence or Product key enables you to activate windows. Anyone can d'load the software, but you need to have a product Key to Activate and use it. As far as I know the 8.1 key is the same as the 8 key after an upgrade. The licencing rules are the same for 8 and 8.1
  7. dodger46 said:
    OMGninjakiller said:
    dodger46 said:


    Just a couple things I want to ask, Does that license work on Win 8.1 and if so how do I use it.

    sorry for the nooby questions!

    The licence or Product key enables you to activate windows. Anyone can d'load the software, but you need to have a product Key to Activate and use it. As far as I know the 8.1 key is the same as the 8 key after an upgrade. The licencing rules are the same for 8 and 8.1



    So if I buy this for a new build:
    http://www.ebuyer.com/581064-oem-microsoft-windows-8-1-64-bit-english-international-1-pack-dvd-wn7-00614?utm_source=google&utm_medium=products&gclid=CInE-4K91rwCFSTMtAodqQMAkw

    Would I have total freedom for upgrades etc?
  8. Total Freedom, but compare the Standard edition with Pro, you might want to shell out the extra...
  9. dodger46 said:
    Total Freedom, but compare the Standard edition with Pro, you might want to shell out the extra...


    It seems that Pro only gets me BitLocker, Remote Desktop and ability to join a domain, I don't wish to use any of these things so I'll stick with Windows 8.1 Core OEM 64bit.
  10. OMGninjakiller said:
    I am building a new PC soon and I would like to know what Windows 8.1 to get. I heard that the OEM version will not allow upgrades to the PC and that I will only be able to install it once so if the hard drive dies or I get a new hard drive then I will have to buy a new Windows 8.1 disc.

    1. Will I be able to upgrade the PC down the line without buying a new Windows 8.1 disc?

    2.Will I be able to use the disc on another PC, even if I have to uninstall from the older PC?

    3. Are there alternate versions to the OEM version?

    4. Is the install motherboard locked, preventing motherboard upgrades or replacement?

    Please may someone give me a clear and up to date answer on Microsoft's license for the OEM version of Windows 8.1.

    Thank you for your help.
  11. The OEM versions will only install on one computer. You can re-install it as long as you haven't replaced your motherboard with a different model. You can replace the CPU, Hard drive or an exact same motherboard (version included) and it will still reload. Considering OEMs are 1/2 price of the full versions, even if your motherboard died and you replaced it with a different model, then re-purchased another OEM windows, you would basically break even. Note: all store bought computers...dell, hp...Lenovo etc, all come with OEM windows. Just MAKE SURE that you are buying the Windows 8 or 8.1 in the BLUE BOX......THE PURPLE BOX IS AN UPGRADE.
  12. vatnar said:
    The OEM versions will only install on one computer. You can re-install it as long as you haven't replaced your motherboard with a different model. You can replace the CPU, Hard drive or an exact same motherboard (version included) and it will still reload. Considering OEMs are 1/2 price of the full versions, even if your motherboard died and you replaced it with a different model, then re-purchased another OEM windows, you would basically break even. Note: all store bought computers...dell, hp...Lenovo etc, all come with OEM windows. Just MAKE SURE that you are buying the Windows 8 or 8.1 in the BLUE BOX......THE PURPLE BOX IS AN UPGRADE.


    Aside from your last sentence, this is incorrect.
    The licensing has changed significantly for Windows 8. It mainly depends on how you obtained the license.

    If you buy it and install it, you can reinstall (on one PC at a time) as much as you want, on whatever hardware you want. New motherboard, new PC, whatever.

    If it comes preinstalled by the manufacturer, then yes, it is tied to that original motherboard.

    The 'OEM' vs 'Retail' only matters in who you can get support from. Retail, you can call Microsoft. OEM/System Builder, you can call you.

    MS licensing terms can be read here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx
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