With Windows 8, Microsoft might ditch the pricey retail version, offer only OEM and upgrade copies

Today, if you want to install Windows 7, you have three options: You can can upgrade from your current version of Windows for $110, you can start fresh with an OEM edition for $100, or you can drop $180 on a retail copy that includes 90 days of customer support. With Windows 8, though, rumor has it Microsoft will ditch the priciest option, leaving users to choose between upgrading for $40 and installing an OEM edition, the price of which isn’t yet clear. The latter, although technically intended for system builders and often bundled with hardware, is frequently sold separately, too, and it’s always cheaper than its retail counterpart.

In other words, if the rumor’s true, it’s good news for consumers, who stand to save some coin.

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