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Windows 7

I want to buy windows 7 for my old man who is using Vista at the moment. I have seen what i think is the cheapest at £77 but this is for an OEM disc, what does this mean? and does anyone know where i can get it possibly cheaper?
OEM is meant for system builders - you don't get tech support or the nice case. I think that's about it, I'm not certain though.
OEM Versions can only be installed on the one machine and the licence "dies" once the machine is no longer in use. It is better to buy a full boxed version as this is a perpetual licence and can be moved from machine to machine.
O.E.M means original equipment manufacturer. It is really meant for companies like Dell who build systems and then copy an image of all the software onto the same model pc/laptop. It will work as long as your pc/laptop has been built by the software o.e.m. I:E dell, hp, ibm.
bigbird has probably got the best solution for you. You can buy a straight Windows 7, or sometimes very slightly cheaper a Vista to Win7 upgrade, but there's usually not a lot of difference price wise if you are shopping for the cheapest of the two. Especially when you have to find the right upgrade for your version of Vista.

Just to be a pedantic arrse with OEM, microsoft don't actually care if home users install it themselves. As Silent_Scope says, it comes in a paper sleeve without any support. As such Microsoft discourage it so if the software goes tits up you don't miss out on the fantastic opportunity of talking to one of their call centres.
One top tip that cost me many hours of frustration to learn is that the Win 7 installer has issues if your PC has more than one HDD attached. So disconnect all but the one you want to install on and add the others later. Don't ask me why, just avoid the fun I had when the installer showed all the HDDs attached ... but wouldn't let me install to them.

Oh, and another thing, make sure you turn off the floppy option in the bios even if you don't physically connect one, that speeds things up as well.
I am running Vista business edition is there any advantage in changing to W7?
I have Vista Business 32 bit OEM on a Dell XPS, and absolutely hated it. Switched to Win 7 Ultimate* 64 bit, and it seems to have transformed the PC - very fast boot, none of the irritating constant disk searching, compatible with absolutely everything I've plugged or loaded - even old games that Vista couldn't run. I haven't upgraded the RAM beyond 4GB to take advantage of the 64 bit, but overall the PC seems a heck of a lot slicker.

*(I chose Win7 Ultimate because of the ease to switch languages - helps me diagnose "user" problems with ma-in-law in Russia and pa in Spain...)
Hated it? why?

If it runs your PC ok then leave it alone, save the £75 and wait until you upgrade the PC and it will most likely come with Windows 7.

Hated it? why?

If it runs your PC ok then leave it alone, save the £75 and wait until you upgrade the PC and it will most likely come with Windows 7.

I'd echo that advice, if there's no reason to upgrade then don't bother. I only made the leap to Win7 when I upgraded my PC for gaming and wanted a 64 bit OS to use more than 4GB RAM.
There is very very little difference in the versions in honesty so buying the bog standard version will do nearly as much is the top of the range version (unless there is something very specific and quite advanced that he will need.

I was top end for xp and vista because the differences were clear but it really is only really system/network admin stuff on the top end packs.

What is more important is to choice between 32bit and 64bit - this is totally based on the machine you have to install it on.
Have you used this service bigbird? I have checked and my OU student status seems to count. Service any good? And will they mind me purchaseing a bulk of software? As I have decided to move my several home PCs up to 7?
I haven't but i know people who have and there don't seem to be any problems. I'll be using them as soon as i have spare cash.

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