Read More for a bargain. If you previously bought a Windows 7 retail version, you can use that license to install Windows 7 on a new computer. You can also move your old Windows installation to a new computer Upgrading Hardware? Upgrading PC hardware is exciting, but dealing with your Windows installation can become an issue.
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Here are your options for keeping your current Windows setup. Read More , provided you have a proper license. If your computer came with Windows 7 pre-installed, you most likely own an OEM license, which cannot be transferred to new hardware. Note that if you bought a computer that came with Windows 8 Professional, you can downgrade to Windows 7. Instead they deposit a recovery partition on the hard drive or provide software that allows you to create your own recovery media. Now what Read More and a valid Windows 7 license.
Students and employees of participating institutions can get Microsoft software for cheap or even free. Those license agreements are contracts that give you specific rights and also include specific limitations. This might sound arbitrary. Indeed, a common complaint I hear is that Microsoft should simply sell one version of its OS at one price to every customer.
That ignores the reality of multiple sales channels, and the fact that some people want the option to pay a lower price if they don't plan to use some features and are willing to pay a higher price for features like BitLocker file encryption.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Operating Systems
If you're not a lawyer, the subject of Windows licensing can be overwhelmingly confusing. But for IT pros, enthusiasts, and large enterprises knowing these rules can save a lot of money and prevent legal hassles. I couldn't find this information in one convenient place, so I decided to do the job myself. I gathered details from many public and private sources and summarized the various types of Windows 7 license agreements available to consumers and business customers. Note that this table and the accompanying descriptions deliberately exclude a small number of license types: for example, I have omitted academic and government licenses, as well as those provided as part of MSDN and TechNet subscriptions and those included with Action Pack subscriptions for Microsoft partners.
The license types listed in the columns of this table are arranged in rough order of price, from least expensive to most expensive.
Windows 7 OEM Licence, bootcamp/parallels | MacRumors Forums
And a final, very important note: I am not a lawyer. I have provided an important disclaimer on the final page of this post. Please read it. Although the table above is packed with information, it's not the whole story. Please click through to the following pages for detailed explanations.
That will certainly be true with Windows 7. When you start up that PC for the first time, you accept two license agreements, one with the manufacturer and one with Microsoft. Here's what you need to know about this type of license agreement:. Technically, you're not supposed to use those copies unless you're building a PC for resal to a third party.
Even Microsoft's not sure. Let's assume you have a machine with Windows installed on it.
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Maybe you bought it preinstalled from a PC maker. Maybe you built it yourself with a full retail license. Now you want to upgrade. You have two options. This might be the case if you get a great deal on a new PC with a specific edition of Windows 7, such as a netbook running Windows 7 Starter or a notebook running Windows 7 Home Premium. You now you actually want a more advanced version, but the PC is preconfigured and can't be customized.
That's where Windows Anytime Upgrade comes in. You can use this option to replace your edition with the one you really want, with the features you need. It is very quick 10 minutes or less, typically and does not require any media.
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You kick off the process from the System dialog box in Control Panel and then enter a valid key for the edition you want to upgrade to. You can purchase a key online or use a key from any upgrade or full edition of Windows 7. The starting version must be activated before Windows Anytime Upgrade will begin. When the upgrade completes, you are running the new, higher version. I have not tested the reinstall process yet. Officially, one would reinstall the original version and then use the Anytime Upgrade key to go through the upgrade process again. I am certain there are easier ways and will test them later.
A retail upgrade package is sold at a steep discount to a fully licensed retail product. The idea is that you are a repeat customer, and you get a price break because you already paid for a full Windows license earlier. Retail upgrades qualify for free technical support from Microsoft, even if the copy you're replacing was originally supplied by an OEM. So who qualifies for a Windows 7 upgrade license? To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligible for the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from.
After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from. So, if you want to dual-boot on a system that is currently using a single Windows license, you need to have a full license for your new copy, not a retail upgrade. As the table on the first page indicates, you can transfer a retail upgrade license to a new PC. This fact confuses some people. Remember that the PC on which you install the upgrade must have a qualifying license first. This is covered in Section 17 of the Windows 7 license:. You may transfer the software and install it on another computer for your use.
That computer becomes the licensed computer.