According to NetMarketShare, Windows 7 is still dominating PC desktop operating system, but Windows 10 is catching up quickly. Windows 10 is getting more sophisticated compared to other Windows OS, thanks to a regular update from Microsoft. It supposed to be the last OS of Windows, so the customer doesn’t need to buy newest OS after few years, instead only investing one-payment product that will be supported forever. But, how much does Windows 10 cost actually?
Microsoft previously rolling free upgrade for all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 user, move towards to new baby Windows 10. This free upgrade last for a year in 2015 and ended up on July 29, 2016. It reached millions of adoption quickly and became second largest OS on the desktop platform. Unfortunately, people who missed this update has no opportunity to get the OS at no cost. Instead, Microsoft has been released the product over the online and retail store since then.
I highly recommended anyone upgrade their obsolete Windows 7 and Windows 8 to the Windows 10. It’s safer, lightweight, reliable, and tons of features that always updated regularly. Before you go to the store, it’s good to check out its price first so you can prepare the money.
How much does Windows 10 cost?
The official package from Microsoft priced Windows 10 Home for $119 and Windows 10 Pro at $199 (price in USD). Both versions of the OS are generally same. They are available on the Microsoft Store and other official retail stores. In addition, the company also selling Windows 10 Pro Workstations for $309 which supposed for advanced business who want to enhance compute workloads.
Microsoft provides both physical product and download option along with the license and several related documents. The price of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro will remain flat since no signs by Microsoft want to lower the price at this point. Meanwhile, if you wonder the differences between both system, see following table below.
Differences between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro
|Major Features||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Pro|
|Group Policy Management||No||Yes|
The full package product is the most complete version of Windows 10 license. You will get a full support from Microsoft team, the license able to move between PCs, the user can change hardware without worry losing the license, and allowed to be installed many times. But, the downside, it’s pretty much cost your wallet.
So, how to get cheaper Windows 10 original?
The way to get cheaper Windows 10, buy OEM device
Since the Windows 10 free upgrade campaign has ended, you only have two option to get it for an extremely lower price. I have a $270 notebook which comes with original Windows 10 Home. It has a regular update, full features as the version, and absolutely not a fake or piracy version. Assuming the OS price itself is $120, so the actual notebook price is just $150?
Or Microsoft compensate the price of Windows 10 device?
Yup, there is another license type of Windows 10 namely OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). The laptop or PC desktop manufacturer, such as Dell, Acer, HP, Huawei, Asus, and many more make a deal with Microsoft to get a cheaper version of Windows 10 legally. Those license distributed to the customer and they receive completely original OS with a fraction of the cost.
On my estimate, the Windows 10 OEM price is just 30% of the full package license. However, it comes with 100 percent features and updates as well. The downside thing is you will not get direct support from Microsoft. Once you experience any issues with the OEM device, you only able to call the respective manufacturer. Also, the license is not movable since it was embedded into the device.
But, at least it comes with a relatively cheap price, isn’t?
Windows 10 volume licensing
Volume licensing is nearly similar to the OEM version. It’s a bulk license purchased by a company or organization which has a dozen of PC. They make a deal to Microsoft in order to get Windows 10 OS for the lowest expenses as possible. Unlike OEM, volume licensing is supposed for the company itself, not for personal use.
But apparently, some (I mean much) of Windows 10 license has been ‘leaked’ and being sold by unofficial (online) store. Most of them cost at $10 even lower. Offering both physical disc or a download link with the license code. They also guarantee money back if the license is failed to be activated. Well, I don’t know how can the license is leaked but honestly the cost is really fascinating.
Is it an original license?
Yes, it’s obviously original. The license issued by Microsoft, so it’s original. It has actual features and free update too. It has a lower price compared to the full retail package, and probably the best choices for people who can’t afford an expensive retail license
Does it an ethical license?
Unfortunately, no. It doesn’t. Albeit the license is considered as original since was created by Microsoft. The way how the license is distributed is wrong. OEM and volume licensing issued for company behalf, not for the ordinary customer.
Anyway, if you have a plan to buy a single license from volume licensing for personal use, it belongs to you. I can’t judge whether it’s illegal or legal according to the law. To learn more about Windows 10 volume licensing, check out this document.
Conclusion – How much does Windows 10 cost?
Windows 10 full retail package license is undoubtedly is the best kind of license available. It has dedicated support from Microsoft, movable so you don’t need to worry when upgrading hardware, and legally no risk. The only downside is it hurting your wallet even for a single license. The price seems to be nearly half of the average standard home PC desktop.
Meanwhile, Windows 10 OEM is the most affordable options for the vast customer since it installed by default on the PC devices from the manufacturer, such as Dell, HP, Acer, and more. But it’s not a movable license. The license code is commonly attached to the CPU or mainboard, hence replacing these components means losing the license. However, some minor upgrade like adding more RAM, SSD, or changing display is still acceptable. Also, OEM license has no support from Microsoft, any complaints about problems are reported towards the manufacturer.
The last option is to buy a license from volume licensing. It just 1/10 price of full retail package license but 100% original. I occasionally saw an online store selling a volume licensing package for personal use. It’s original although not distributed as it should be. Purchasing this kind of license probably too risky depending on the local law. But eventually, it belongs to your decision.