How much does Microsoft charge OEMs for Windows licenses?

Kannon Y December 22, 2013

I used my weak Google-fu skills and came up with $50 per copy, for Windows 7 Starter Edition. But I want to know how much Windows 8 costs per license, for OEMs.

IMO, the Starter edition is horrible. In comparison, Windows 8 offers a complete backup solution, which is a necessary part of any modern operating system. Windows 7 Starter is an accident waiting to happen.

  1. Susendeep D
    December 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    You might get a detailed breakdown price that Microsoft charges for each edition of its OS in the below article -

    Microsoft Reveals Windows 8 OEM Licensing Prices

  2. Oron J
    December 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I think Jan covered all bases really. The cheapest "real" OEM licence I've heard of was around £10 per copy (which at the moment is equal to $16.35, but this was a while ago). However, the prices are negotiated with each OEM, and I imagine non-disclosure agreements (NDA) are part and parcel of them. Jan's final point is the most important. In terms of how much you will pay, it matters very little what Dell or Toshiba pay, since there is a distribution chain for these OEM copies and they're all there for one purpose - to make a profit. In the UK, $80 would be considered a steal, so your $50 find is an excellent one!

  3. Jan F
    December 22, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    There is no general pricing for OEMs. Pricing usually depends on the volume and often on other details.
    If a large manufacturer agrees on selling only machines with Windows 8 they will get a better price than an equally sized manufacturer selling machines with Windows, Linux or no OS pre-installed. Also a smaller manufacturer going Windows only will probably not get the same low prize as a large one selling 'mixed' as they don't have a high volume.

    I think a good estimate for "real" OEM sales in large volumes is $15-$25 per copy.

    Of course this doesn't translate to OEM versions you buy at your local store. Those usually cover profit margins of multiple distributers and the final retailer. So an OEM license bought at a retailer usually goes for around $80.