I am looking to move from 98 SE to XP, mainly so I can take advantage of the Student price for Office 2003. At the same time I am thinking of changing some components so I can either buy the OEM version or the Upgrade.
What are the pros and cons of each. I am happy enought to do a clean install for an OEM version, but I read somewhere recently that the OEM version is particularly bad at allowing later hardware upgrades, moving to a new pc etc. This would be no good to me as I would aim to keep it going through 1 or 2 updgrade cycles.
If I get the Upgrade version, and then later need to do a clean install, would I have to install my 98SE and then overwrite it?
The upgrade version requires you to insert the qualifying CD (your 98 CD) if you're installing from scratch (i.e. when you don't have a previous qualifying OS already installed). That's all.
The OEM version you have in mind (the type that is sold with new hardware) imposes a condition in the licence agreement that it can only be used together with the hardware in question. That is the legal aspect.
At a practical level, there is no inbuilt mechanism with this type of OEM version to stop you from installing it elsewhere and if necessary, reactivating it (as long as there is only one copy being installed), even though this would technically still be a breach of the licence agreement.
If you think you might have to switch to a new computer and install XP there, then an upgrade version is the one you want. Just remember to keep your 98 CD safe and intact (and preferably make a backup of the 98 CD - some CDs do become unreadable over time).
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