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Boot Camp / Parallels – Windows 8.1 licence downgrade to Windows 7 and OEM– possible with Mac?

Posted on 2014-01-08
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Last Modified: 2014-01-27
Hi
I have to setup three new Apple Mac Air’s running Windows 7 as the users like Apple hardware. Two will be with boot camp booting directly into windows always, the other will be using parallels flipping between the two.

In each case, the users want Windows 7. However I’m not sure what the deal is here?

Can I get a windows 7 OEM licence? As Windows 7 boxed retail editions are harder to come by.

Am I better of buying a Windows 8 PRO OEM, and using the downgrade rights to downgrade to Windows 7

I guess in summary I’m asking:

1) Can I use an OEM version with bootcamp use, or do I need a full boxed version?

2) Either way, if I get Windows 8 Pro, can I downgrade to Windows 7 in the context of running on a Mac Air running boot camp or parallels


Thanks in advance.
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Question by:afflik1923
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:chilternPC
ID: 39765084
I used an OEM disc. (its the same s the retail without the fancy box)
you'll need a windows disc when installing parallels.

 so I can't see how you would be able to 'downgrade to windows 7 as you'll need an actual disc
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Accepted Solution

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afflik1923 earned 0 total points
ID: 39765470
FYI here is the link that says about the downgrade rights.
http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en-gb/licensing/sblicensing/pages/downgrade_rights.aspx#fbid=g6UpWYcMItT

It just seems strange paying a premium to obtain Windows 7 licence, when in theory a Windows 8 licence can be used with it. I could always just use a windows 7 CD from a previous installation, it's just ensuring the Windows 8 key would work.

So open to any more comments on this. I know an OEM installation would work but would it actually be legally licenced?
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Michael Dyer
Michael Dyer earned 250 total points
ID: 39765512
You should not use an OEM version as that will break the license agreement.  OEM versions are designed to be preinstalled in PCs.  

You can still find plenty of copies of the retail version of Windows 7 online or on eBay and that would be cheaper than buying Windows 8 and downgrading.  Just Google it!

https://www.google.com/#q=windows+7+professional+retail+for+sale&safe=off&tbm=shop
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:chilternPC
ID: 39802928
@Michael Dyer - I was under the impression the OEM windows discs were for system builders.  I buy OEM versions of Windows 7 from my local supplier when I'm building a new machine.   I'd like to think the setting up parallels on a Mac is building a new machine and so using the OEM disc is ok.?
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Author Closing Comment

by:afflik1923
ID: 39811533
It was not that easy to find Windows 7 licences from trusted sources at fair prices.
Also MS licencing is still overly complex. However we did get some retail boxed editions and used them.
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