Thinking about buying PowerPoint or Office pre-installed on a new computer?
Think carefully before you do this
If you can, purchase Office or PowerPoint separately. Try not to get it pre-installed on your new computer.
Pre-installed or OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) copies of Office can be problems for several reasons:
- Programs: OEM Office may not include all the programs you expect. PowerPoint, Outlook, Access or other programs may not come with your OEM copy of Office.
- Installation CD: OEM Office doesn't usually include a CD. It's not good if a service pack or upgrade installer asks you to insert the Office CD and you don't have one.
- What if you have to reinstall?: It happens. Perhaps your hard drive fails, or you just need to switch computers, etc. If you don't have an Office CD, you're out of luck.
- But I have a Restore CD! Typically these restore your computer to the way it was when you bought it. They reformat the hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch. You lose all of the the and service packs you've installed. You lose all of the data you've saved, so you have to be sure to back it up then re-install it later. It's a lot of work. You don't want to go there.
- Support: The company that sold you the computer with OEM Office is responsible for support, not Microsoft. Some companies do a pretty bad job of software support; they're in the business of selling hardware, after all. The software is just an afterthought.
- Upgrades: OEM Office may not qualify for upgrades to later versions.
That OEM copy of Office may seem like a great buy, but it could be more trouble than it's worth. The extra cost of a full version of Office, complete with CD, can be be a very good investment in the long run.
If you already have a copy of Office that came with your PC, check with the vendor to see if you can get CDs from them or from Microsoft.