Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th Sep 2009 18:01 UTC
Windows Microsoft has been very protective over its OEM pricing, and while various figures float around the web, the company has never really confirmed or denied any of them. At the Jefferies Annual Technology Conference, however, Charles Songhurst, general manager of Corporate Strategy, revealed some of the pricing details for OEMs.
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Users can buy OEM versions too
by npcomplete on Thu 17th Sep 2009 12:36 UTC
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I'm not sure how many people realize that. They are sold to system builders but literally anyone can be a system builder. The only difference is that there's absolutely no end user support from Microsoft.

For example in single pack/license + media, Vista Home Premium is $99 at and other places. Volume licensing pushes that down toward the cited $50 range. Most people I know and most users at hardware sites never buy the retail version (again, there's no difference besides support). Windows 7 will be priced the same. So I myself will be paying that $100 for the OEM version rather than $200 - $250 for retail. Or opt in to a group buy or contact some local shops who purchase volume licenses for less.

And this funny pricing structure sometimes applies to other software as well. Walk into a retail store and you'd have a choice of a single user license MS Office 2007 Home for about $130 or Pro for about $300.

Yet, you can buy a 3 PC license version online for $109. This used to be relegated to the OEM version of Office but for some reason MS shifted it to the retail version now.

Edited 2009-09-17 12:40 UTC

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