I installed Win 7 OEM Home Premium 64 bit on Saturday and, for various reasons, would like to delete it and go back to XP. I have not yet done the online activation.
I would like to be sure if I delete Win 7, I'll be able to use this copy on a new build in a year or so. I "think" I should be OK to use this down the road on a new machine, as it hasn't been activated, but would like someone to confirm.
As long as you haven't activated it, you're good to go. I'm assuming you purchased the OEM yourself through a vendor like NewEgg and that it didn't come with a computer you purchased? Because, it if DID come with the computer you purchased, it might be tied to the make of that machine (such as if it came with a Dell or HP). Usually, those OEMs cannot be installed on anything BUT the computer it was created for.
Otherwise, if you purchased it through a vendor like NewEgg or Microcenter, then as long as you never went online and activated it, then you will be fine.
Yeah, you're good to go. As long as you didn't activate it, then you didn't send in the "hash" code that is tied to the hardware in your machine. Therefore, Microsoft has no knowledge of the machine it's installed on, so you're good to go as far as installing it on another machine.
Once you do activate it, it's then tied to that machine. Now, in the past I had an OEM XP Professional version and I switched out motherboards on it. I had to call Microsoft and they reactivated it without question. I don't know if that practice has changed with Windows 7, but I do know that I had to call them twice to activate it.
Now, that is against the OEM license agreement which is why with Windows 7, I just went and purchased the retail version instead (and of course, I pre-ordered it via Amazon to get it at half-price!)