More rumours have started floating around the web now as we start to approach the release date for Windows 8. This latest rumour suggests that Microsoft will not offer a full version of Windows 8 to consumers. Rather they will only be offering OEM and Upgrade versions of Windows 8.
If Microsoft were to proceed ahead with this, it wouldn’t really affect people too much in fairness. The vast majority of consumers will be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s upgrade offer and get Windows 8 for just $39.99 if they have either a copy of Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.
If you aren’t upgrading from one of these editions of Windows, you’ll have to go and purchase an OEM version of Windows 8 which is typically reserved for Hardware makers. It’s commonly referred to as the “System Builder” version of Windows and is pretty much identical to other versions of Windows. The only drawback with an OEM version of Windows 8 is that you are only allowed to install it to one motherboard and you don’t get the 90 days support provided by Microsoft.
However the OEM version is generally cheaper than a regular license so it works in the consumers favour if anything. For example the OEM version of Windows 7 Professional costs $139.99 while the retail version will set you back $299.99.
Bear in mind though that the upgrade version of Windows 8 Pro will be just $39.99 so I doubt Microsoft will bring the price of the OEM version much lower than that.
This information was brought to light after Microsoft insiders Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott, claimed to hear that full retail copies of Windows 8 won’t be available.
All in all, this isn’t really going to affect anyone too much, but it’s interesting that Microsoft look set to drop the full version of their software.