Online electronics retailer—or “e-tailer”—NewEgg this weekend posted pricing and availability information for the so-called OEM versions of Windows 10 Home and Pro. The pricing closely matches that of the equivalent Windows 8.1 versions, so no surprise there. But the release date is likely just a placeholder.
The OEM versions of Windows—where OEM means original equipment manufacturer—are aimed at small PC makers, including individuals who build their own PCs. These versions are typically less expensive than the full retail versions for a variety of reasons, including the lack of packaging, documentation, and support. But the biggest difference is that OEM versions of Windows cannot be moved from PC to PC. Once you associate a Windows product key with a PC, it can only be used with that PC.
If you look at the OEM versions of Windows 8.1 today on NewEgg, you will see the following:
And as you might expect, the Windows 10 versions that match are very similarly priced, and are just a bit more expensive:
A couple of notes here.
Release date. NewEgg says that both Windows 10 versions will be released on August 31, 2015. I believe that date to be a placeholder, and expect to see Windows 10 ship in late July.
64-bit vs. 32-bit. The NewEgg listings don’t differentiate between 64-bit and 32-bit versions, which should be instantly suspicious. Unlike retail packages which can include both versions, the OEM versions of Windows have always shipped with just one (either 32-bit or 64-bit). So the entire listings could simply be placeholders, or Microsoft is doing something we hadn’t heard about with regards to OEM packaging. (That said, it’s not possibly we’ll only see 64-bit versions, for example, so I’m not sure what’s up here.)
Pricing. While the roughly $10 price difference between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 OEM isn’t much, I’m surprised there is any difference at all. This further suggests (to me anyway) that these listings are just placeholders and represent guesses on NewEgg’s part.
In short. Not much too see here. But the end—of Windows 10’s initial development, that is—is nigh.