I noticed in the newspaper this morning that Fry’s Electronics is having a 1-day sale of Windows 7 Professional full version (pre-order) for $129.99 US. Since the full version retails for $299.99 US, this seems like a great deal. However, upon close inspection of the ad I noticed that this version is being called “OEM for System Builders” which made me a bit suspicious. Since I normally build my own systems for my own personal use, you would think that this “system builders” label would apply… and it does, in a way.
After googling “OEM System Builders”, I learned that this particular version of the OS has a limitation where you can only install it on one computer. It is also tied to the motherboard of the computer so you can’t replace the motherboard at a future date and reinstall Windows 7. So you basically can only install it one specific computer and that’s it. Since I often upgrade the motherboard on my main desktop system on a regular basis (for speed-up reasons or to replace a defective board), the OEM System’s Builder version wouldn’t work for me.
So just a friendly warning if you run across an ad like this in the newspaper or on http://www.newegg.com, etc. I’m planning to wait until after Oct 22nd (official release date) and head down to my local Costco store to pick one up.