In a Microsoft's post about Windows 8 upgrade it is written:

We set out to make it as easy as possible for everyone to upgrade to Windows 8. Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets.

I am now interested in understanding if this upgrade options are available also for Windows XP/Vista/7 OEM versions. Do you have any idea?

  • Microsoft will release this information as release date approaches. Possibly the are still working on that. One note mentioned no path from XP as with WIN7 – Dave M Jul 6 '12 at 13:52
  • do you mean OEM version as in if you bought a computer with Windows XP/Vista/7 on it? – MatthewSot Aug 4 '12 at 23:07
  • @MatthewThepc Yep, exactly – Drake Aug 5 '12 at 14:40
  • Why wouldn't they be available for OEM versions? – Der Hochstapler Aug 5 '12 at 14:45
  • Because there is no ONE rule with Microsoft licensing, there are many differents and OEM has always some special cases, so I am looking for a definitive and authoritative answer. – Drake Aug 5 '12 at 17:50

I don't think there's any major difference in terms of upgrading Windows for OEM vs. non-OEM editions. They all have specific license keys, and, AFAIK, that's the only thing the Windows 8 installer will look for.

I've upgraded the OEM version of XP to Windows 7 (with the cheaper Upgrade edition) before without any problem, and unless Microsoft's said otherwise I would think that it would be the same way for Windows 8.

If you read the "4. What is RTM, GA, Retail, and OEM?" section here, it seems that the only major difference between them is that the licensing key is stored in and tied to the BIOS, which shouldn't be a problem for the Windows 8 installer, which (as far as I know) just checks to make sure that the current version of Windows is activated with a valid license key.

Also, at your source link, it says:

if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets.

Windows XP, Vista, and 7 are all available in OEM versions, and since OEM versions make up the majority of Windows sales, I think Microsoft would've found a few words to say that OEM versions weren't eligible for the upgrade if that's what they were planning :)

TL;DR: Microsoft doesn't make distinctions between OEM Windows editions and Retail Windows editions.

  • Does OEM change to retail – HackToHell Oct 26 '12 at 15:45

From Microsoft's Windows Upgrade Offer :

Through the Windows Upgrade Offer, customers who purchase a qualifying Windows 7 PC from June 2, 2012 through January 31, 2013 will receive a promotional offer for a downloadable copy of Windows 8 Pro when available.

Q. Does the offer apply to the PCs purchased from a system builder with a COEM license?

A. Yes, the offer can be applied to new PCs purchased from a system builder with a qualifying OEM licensed edition of Windows 7, including COEM.

Although this post is about new computers only, one can still infer from it that the Windows 8 Upgrade will work with all versions of Windows including OEM.

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