This is interesting.

If speculated reports are true, Microsoft may be scrapping the full retail editions of Windows 8.

Microsoft usually sells upgrade, full, and OEM System Builder copies of its Windows software at retailers.

Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley (Windows Weekly co-hosts) have revealed that Microsoft is planning to remove the full edition option in favor of a System Builder option.

The system builder option would be a full version of Windows that would offer limited to no support for the customer – hence it would be cheaper.

If true, this would mark a change in Microsoft’s licensing plans for Windows 8 and would simplify the SKU structure..

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  • valapsp

    Can someone clarify the difference between the retail version and the OEM version?

    • John E Reese

      OEM is original equipment manufacturer version of Windows 8. In the past the OEM had only the drivers and special options for equipment maker systems. The retail version has all the common drivers and/or download the needed drivers for the equipment (home brew system). The version of windows depend on the buyer choice. The product key on the system sticker only works with OEM OS not retail version. If you try to restore a Dell system with Acer system OEM disks will fail.

    • James Fox

      Short explanation: (Previous versions of windows before this rumor)
      OEM=support provided by the vendor that sold the operating system software with the hardware – License not transferable to new hardware, can only be installed on the one computer with the original COA attached by the vendor to the hardware. License code on COA not valid for retail media or different vendor hardware. Not supported by Microsoft, vendor only support

      Retail=supported by Microsoft and can be sold separately from hardware. – Transferable license to new hardware when old hardware retired – IE still licensed only to one computer. COA is attached to the retail box or CD case.
      COA=Certificate of Authenticity. License Code on COA not valid for OEM media but will install on any hardware. Not vendor supported. Only by Microsoft.

      This link may help provide additional answers to your request:

  • M.Na’el

    Wait, so MSFT will no longer offer technical and in-person support for individually purchased licenses? So if someone builds his/her own rig then the highest form of support available would be online updates, right? Well, that would be horrible and I can see no way (or any possibility) that this would go unpunished.

    • Rex

      Wow, no matter what MS does, someone will take issue with it. This not only simplifies the stucture it makes Windows 8 inherently cheaper. Since Upgrade goes back all the way to Windows XP, who needs the full version? Those building their own systems. But legally before, those who did so were not qualified for OEM versions even though they often used them. Now MS simplifies and OKs this process and makes it the correct way, saving PC builders money who want to be honest. Just goes to show, people who dont like MS will find fault with anything they change no matter how good it it.
      No wonder MS disregards the naysayers.

      • M.Na’el

        Just one second, that’s not really what I said. Out there, ‘average-users’ still exist, people who would ask their geek relative to build them a rig but would prefer the ‘official’ support for anything that doesn’t need them to go to a store whereas the ‘geek-relatives’ would ask a question or 2 then say “I have to see it myself.”. And besides, the article doesn’t explicitly state a reduction in prices; if this move means Win8 Pro for ~$100, then yes all the way. Alas, I could only dream of that.

  • sarveshmotihari

    Windows 8 reaches build 8513, getting closer to RTM

  • Michael

    @ The Moderator.

    Dear moderator, Please may I make a suggestionrequest.

    I am sure I am not the only one who takes a little care in attempting to make my posts as readable as possible. So it would be really nice if the posted version of our comments would not have line breaks removed.

    Since we cannot add Bold or Coloured text, paragraphs are about the only form of formatting we have at our disposal.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Onuora Amobi

      Done. I added Disqus 2012 back…