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I have a legal copy of Windows Vista Home Prem 64-bit OEM in German. I am thinking about upgrading to Windows 7. I would like this time to buy an english version (Last time, I got a german by mistake). In Amazon:

Is it possible to upgrade from a german copy of Vista to a English copy of Windows 7?

OEM stands for "original equipment manufacturer". I guess since Amazon sells these copies, it must be legal for me to buy them. Moreover, since an operating system updates for free, I assume I would end with the same OS.

Is there any differences bettween buying the Upgrade Packgage or the OEM besides price?

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you will NOT be able to upgrade unless its the same language. i had a problem upgrading a spanish windows vista to a windows 7 english. i had to upgrade with a spanish version then install a language pack(which is FREE) so you Need the ACTUAL language for your instalation. – mike Dec 10 '09 at 6:49
up vote 7 down vote accepted

There is no difference between the versions, except in the terms of use, i.e. when/where you can install it.

It is legal for you to buy an OEM copy of Windows, but they are effectively "one-shot" installs, they live and die on the hardware they are installed on, I'm not sure if that means you can reactivate if HDD fails and you replace it even though your system is effectively the same... Some suppliers will only supply an OEM copy with some kind of hardware such as a drive, but YMMV.

Getting the full version means that you can move your copy of Windows to a new machine and re-activate it without worrying, the worst you'll have to do is phone Microsoft and tell them that the old copy of Windows is gone. I would assume that so long as you keep the media for Windows Vista then the upgrade version should be the same.

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dude....i don't want to down your points cause i need mine.. but have you EVER tried to upgrade a english vista with a spanish version .. if you have then you would know that it WOULD NOT WORK. but give false information at least a quick google search can prove you wrong...haha... – mike Dec 11 '09 at 8:02
ooo and the one shot.. thats soo funny... most downloaded versions of windows ARE OEM's...haha – mike Dec 11 '09 at 8:03… heres a place to look at... – mike Dec 11 '09 at 8:06
I didn't answer the question regarding English vs German / Spanish as I had no experience in the matter. I answered the second question that was about OEM vs Upgrade... You answered the other part helpfully so I'll +rep you for that. – Mokubai Dec 11 '09 at 9:28
thanks for that! – mike Dec 11 '09 at 15:09

There's what the license states, and then there's reality.

There's also different levels of "OEM" too. A Dell OEM would be a lot more restrictive than a "System Builder Pack" from newegg or amazon.

I've always used OEM system builder editions and have moved them to different hardware many times. With XP I've always had to call it in, but with Vista I've had no issues.

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No you can not upgrade from different languages. The OEM version does come with a upgrade option as well as a full install. Since you have a german copy you NEED a German Windows 7.

I upgraded a friends computer to windows 7 from vista home pre but he had a spanish version; I could NOT upgrade. Windows said the reason was the language. I had to upgrade with a spanish version then installed the english language pack so he could keep all of his programs AND have an english looking version of windows 7.

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You can move retail versions to new hardware. OEM should just be installed one one computer to die together with the hardware.

I suggest you download Ubuntu from It's free and easy to use and I cannot imagine anything appart from directx to use windows for...

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I can think af about 20k reasons to use windows... – RCIX Dec 9 '09 at 11:02
The OP did not ask for a fanboy answer. -1 – ephilip Dec 9 '09 at 14:19
There's enough Trolls in Oblivion, we don't need more here. – AdminAlive Dec 10 '09 at 0:03
The answer is not fanboy related, but stipulates the fact that other operating systems are easily and freely migrated to new hardware! ;) PS: I use windows and ubuntu equally often and own an MCSE or 2... lol My fanboyism dies along with my certification – Aaaaaaaaaha ERLEBNIS Dec 14 '09 at 13:39
If I wanted an Ubuntu suggestion I would have used the ubuntu tag – Sergio del Amo Dec 21 '09 at 21:05

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