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Is Windows 7 OEM or Upgrade Better for my Situation?

Hello,

I have a question concerning which version of Windows 7 would be best for me to purchase: OEM or Upgrade.

Although I haven't decided whether or not I am going to get Home Premium or Ultimate (as an at-home gamer, I am not sure if the features in Ultimate justify the additional cost), I am unsure whether or not I should get Windows 7 OEM or Upgrade. While I am currently using a computer with Windows 7 64-bit RC Build 7100 on it, I do have the license key for a Windows XP 32-bit OEM that came with the computer I mean to put the Windows 7 RTM on. However, I am unsure whether or not my Windows XP 32-bit OEM product key will be valid in the installation of the Windows 7 Upgrade as the key is now almost seven years old. In addition, I am wondering whether upgrading using my key (if it's valid) will prevent me from using it again in a situation where I find myself having to reformat my computer or even having to get a new one.

Furthermore, I am wondering whether or not I even need to spend money on the upgrade version when the OEM version is anywhere from twenty to forty-five dollars cheaper. Yet, because of my ignorance about how the OEM system works and generally bad internet search skills, I am afraid that if I buy the OEM, but then realize that I need to install a new motherboard (or any crucial component) or get a new computer for any reason, that I will be required to buy another OEM, and I would have been better off spending the extra twenty dollars in the first place. However, I have used my Windows XP OEM CD to reinstall Windows XP several times even after getting a new computer or doing a major upgrade, so I thought maybe I could do the same with a Windows 7 OEM.

(Also, I would like to add that I do not care about the ability to "upgrade" as opposed to having to clean install the OS, as I will have to clean install either option I choose because I am using the RC.)

TL;DR: In short, the question is this: "Given that I have a Windows XP OEM license key and there is a small chance that I will have to either perform a major computer upgrade or get a new computer in the next few years, would it be better for me to get an Upgrade version of Windows 7 or an OEM version of Windows 7?"

Thank you so much for your help! :)
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  1. Best answer
    Quote:
    In short, the question is this: "Given that I have a Windows XP OEM license key and there is a small chance that I will have to either perform a major computer upgrade or get a new computer in the next few years, would it be better for me to get an Upgrade version of Windows 7 or an OEM version of Windows 7?"


    Forgetting eligibility for the moment, given the costs, Upgrades seem to be an expensive option ?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2060350368%204811&Tpk=Windows%207

    Ultimate = OEM is $174.99 / Upgrade is $219.99
    Premium = OEM is b$99.99 / Upgrade is $119.99
    Professional = OEM is $139.99 /Upgrade is $199.99

    The OEM key, once used, and I assume it was used when you bought that other PC is tied to that machine. Also unless things have changed:

    http://www.infocellar.com/winxp/oem-recover-retail.htm
    "does allow you to upgrade over it with a future release of Windows"

    If you are worried about building amachine, having problems and then having to change components because of them, this is a non issue....you don't have to activate your install for 30 days and you should discover all problems by then.

    If you want to bounce between machines, then a retail version is your only option.
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