In pushing Windows 8, Microsoft is making it very difficult to find Windows 7: does anyone know a vendor for a legitimate "boxed' version of Windows 7 Professional 32-bit for a single PC? Details inside...
Some months back, I asked the Green about the virtues of converting a system running Windows XP Professional to Windows 7 or Windows 8; the link is here
The responses were enormously helpful, and I thank you all again.
For a variety of reasons, not the least of which concerns hardware compatibility, I have decided to go with Windows 7 Professional.
The problem is, it is very, very hard to find. PCConnection offers an "OEM
" version, which I am informed would not allow re-installation of the OS if the machine crashed somewhere down the line.
Walmart (!) sells -- and I purchased -- Windows 7 Pro in a "system builder
" pack; ironically, it was the representative at PCConnection who found, recommended and directed me to this version.
Fedex delivered it today, and the box is labeled "OEM System Builder Pack" and states:
"Intended for system builders ONLY"
"If the individual software license if for a desktop operating system ..., it also must be preinstalled on the hard drive of the fully assembled computer system, using the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK)
The link to this OPK download page at Microsoft no longer works. I have not found online chat around this "OPK" issue that seems to address a "retail" situation with any reliability. Some comments claim the OPK is unnecessary, and that the system builder pack DVD should boot up, run and install just fine. Others claim that this "solution" does not work. There also seems to be some confusion around the product key.
I have not opened the package yet as I suspect that this version, which is seemingly directed at IT departments and other professionals doing bulk installations on new PCs, may not allow for a normal single machine installation.
Hence my question to the Green: Is this system builder pack essentially equivalent to the retail boxed version one once could buy, and if not, where might I find a legitimate retail version of Windows 7 Professional 32-bit, complete with product key and license?
Or, maybe I join CorporateAmerica in what appears to be a giant game of chicken and carry on with XP? (The risk management implications here are interesting but for another discussion...)
(I think I feel my old distaste for Microsoft resurrecting....)