Newegg May Have Revealed The Pricing For Windows 10 Home And Pro

Why spend over £100 on Windows when you can buy a cheap key for under a tenner? We explain the differences between OEM and retail licences of Windows 10.

Đang xem: Newegg may have revealed the pricing for windows 10 home and pro

Are cheap versions of Windows authentic? We take a look at OEM versions, and whether you can legally buy a cheap copy of Windows

ByMartyn Casserly, Contributor

In use, there is no difference at all between OEM or retail versions. Both are full versions of the operating system, and as such include all the features, updates, and functionality that you would expect from Windows.

Where their paths diverge is in two important areas: support and flexibility.

When you buy an OEM copy you’rein essencetaking on the role of the manufacturer of your device. This means that if you run into problems with hardware compatibility or encounter activation issues, calling Microsoft for help will probably end up with you being told to contact the manufacturer of your device. Which of course, in this case, is you!

The second major difference is that whereas when you buy a retail copy of Windows you can use it on more than one machine, although not at the same time, an OEM version is locked to the hardware on which it was first activated.

This might not seem a major issue, but if you decide to change the motherboard on your PC, then chances are you’ll also need to pay out for a new copy of Windows at the same time, as the old one won’t re-activate on the new hardware.

To see how you can reuse your retail Windows licence read our How to install Windows on more than one PC feature.

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Should I buy a cheap OEM key?

There’s nothing illegal about buying an OEM key, so long as it’s an official one. There are plenty of legitimate sites online that deal in this kind of software, Amazon has a number of sellers offering OEM keys, as does eBay, and more specialist sites like the aforementioned Lizengo are an option.

Just be sure to read the description carefully and check user ratings before spending any money. Some very cheap offers might be for foreign copies of Windows 10, which may require downloading an English language pack, but these are free and available from Microsoft.

So long as you’re happy to take on the responsibility of being your own technical support, then an OEM version can save a lot of money while offering an identical experience.

Of course, those who prefer peace of mind, and someone at the end of the telephone who can help fix any problems, might prefer the full retail route instead. Just avoid buying a USB flash-drive version from that dodgy-looking guy in the Tesco car park.

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Martyn has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.

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