Windows Money Savers

Today I checked out Ars Technica’s latest Week in Microsoft, and came across two articles that might save Windows users some money.

The first is about Microsoft’s freshly-out-of-beta antivirus suite.  First look: Microsoft Security Essentials impresses.  In 2006, Microsoft released a retail antivirus program called Windows Live OneCare.  By the end of 2008, Microsoft had announced that it would discontinue this product in favor of a free replacement called Microsoft Security Essentials.

For years I’ve been using AVG Free, but today I uninstalled it (you don’t want two antivirus programs running at the same time) and installed MSE.  It looks like it’s a bit easier to use than AVG and I must say, it’s got some beautiful system tray icons.  I might write a post in the future with some expanded impressions of the product, especially with Windows 7 coming out this month.

Microsoft Security Essentials can be downloaded here.

The second article is about something I’ve known about for years but to which I’ve never committed.  Newegg reveals Windows 7 OEM prices.  I’ve known about OEM versions of Microsoft Windows since before Windows Vista was released.  From what I understand, an OEM copy of Windows is only supposed to be used on a newly built machine.  However, I believe that is more of a suggestion in line with the “Student and Teacher” edition of Microsoft Office (which has since been renamed to the “Home and Student” Edition.)  On Newegg’s listing page, the text appears to be cut off, but here’s the part that caught my eye:

software requires the assembler to provide end user support

That made me think:  Hell, I’m capable of that.  I’d prefer it that way, in fact.  If I were married with kids, I’d probably put an OEM copy of Windows on each of their machines, too.  I wouldn’t suggest it for my parents or my sisters, or even my best (nontechnical) friends, though.  But for me, why not?  Oh, and why is this a money saver?  Depending on the edition of Windows purchased, the OEM version is about 50% cheaper.  The greatest savings percentage-wise appears to be on the Professional Edition, which is the one I’ve got my eye on.

Newegg lists every version of Windows 7 it’s selling here.

So if you’re a technical person, take a look at both of these articles.  If you’re not, consider using Microsoft Security Essentials.  Because it’s free antivirus software.