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Buying a Windows OS for virtual platform

Kevin Tysen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2005
Posts: 255
I want to run a CD on my Mac, but the CD is made to run on Windows OS. So I installed the software which makes it possible to install a Windows OS on a Macintosh computer. So far, no problem. But now I have to get a Windows OS. And I want to get a slightly old Windows OS because it's cheaper. So I am thinking about getting an OS with internet auction. To be specific, I need a WindowsXP or Vista.
It's really hard to know what to buy because there are so many versions, like office version or home version. The office one has software that I don't really need. I just need the most basic Window OS functions.
Also, there are software packages in the electronics store that say "backup" or "upgrade" or stuff like that. Most of the time people just buy a non-Mac computer which has OS software installed on it already, so for them it's clear what they need. In my situation, there is nothing Microsoft on this computer, so I need to install from zero.
If I were to buy something at an electronics store, there would be someone to ask questions to, but I am thinking of getting it by internet auction, so the only info I have is the name of the product and the picture of the front of the box the product came in.
So I am just wondering what is the official name of what I am looking for. For example, I am looking right now at something called
Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit DSP version
but I don't know what "Ultimate" means when the term is applied to Windows Vista, and I don't know what DSP means either.
Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3610
    
  60

Windows Vista Editions
Windows XP Editions

Yes, this is just Wikipedia, but I believe it should be accurate enough for your needs.

I'm not sure how much a concern it would be for you, but you might want to make sure the original license of the product you're going to buy allows such transfer (eg. it is not permitted by the license to transfer an OEM product to a different computer, including virtual ones). You might also have problems activating the OS if Microsoft deems the transfer illegal.

Sometimes the company developing the virtualization software offers pre-installed images of various OSes for sale, which I assume solves also the licensing. You might want to check that out.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39478
    
  28
You might find WinXP less expensive. Also get a “home” edition rather than “ultimate” for the same reason. I have bona fide student status, so I can get an “educational” edition, which is even less expensive.
Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3610
    
  60

I had thought MS had already stopped selling Windows XP. Is it still possible to buy a brand new XPs?
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39478
    
  28
No
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39478
    
  28
You can even buy Windows 98, but I don’t think it is legal to use that disc.
Kevin Tysen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2005
Posts: 255
I found a "Windows XP OEM Preinstallation Kit". It seems to be what I want, but I just wonder about the word "Preinstallation". Would this only do a preinstallation and then I have to buy something else in order to do the real installation? Here is the URL.
[url=]http://page5.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/e123105994#enlargeimg[/url]
Kevin Tysen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2005
Posts: 255
OOps, something went wrong with the URL. I'll try it again.
WindowsXP Preinstallation Disk
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39478
    
  28
You will have to find somebody who knows Japanese to translate, but I am a bit suspicious about that disc.
Kevin Tysen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2005
Posts: 255
Japanese is no problem. I can understand Japanese. I just don't understand all the Windows editions. Anyway, this is what the Japanese says:

New, unused product.
Product details:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition OEM Preinstallation kit (1 disk)

Microsoft Windows XP OEM Preinstallation kit (1 disk)

Only someone with knowledge should use this product.

Caution: Someone who gets irritated easily should not bid for this product. Also, No claims, no returns.


This is starting to spook me, too. The price is suspiciously low. It's 650 yen. Right now the exchange rate is about 80 yen per dollar.
I found some other Windows XP operating systems to be auctioned. They are a bit more expensive, about 4,000 yen and up.
I see the word OEM a lot. What does it mean? Is it a good thing?
Thanks for all the help.
Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3610
    
  60

OEM generally means the software license is sold together with a concrete piece of hardware (typically a brand new, or sometimes refurbished, PC) and cannot be used with another hardware. It is also usually accompanied with a label that is typically stuck onto a computer case and contains the activation key.

I think a special agreement between the seller and the software vendor must be made for the seller to be able to legally sell OEM licenses. I believe that in this concrete case it would not be in accordance with the OEM license for you to use this disc.

I probably wouldn't go for this, even you were able to successfully install and activate it (which is not granted, as you'd need an activation key too and even if the seller provides you with one, it could be blacklisted).
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Buying a Windows OS for virtual platform