View Full Version : OEM vs. Retail

09-02-2007, 05:15 PM
Hey guys. I have a really quick question.
What will I be losing by getting the OEM version of WinXP/Vista compared to the full/retail version? Thanks!

09-02-2007, 07:53 PM
The box for the most part :xp:

However, depending on the company.. you may or may not receive the re-install disk (assuming the OEM comes pre-installed). Also, I *think* OEM has limited amounts of re-activation on a computer.. though in all honesty, I'm not that familiar with it. Could be just hearsay, but I've heard of the issue coming up in the past. :giveup:

Functionality wise, there shouldn't be any difference though, so if you're not planning on buying multiple license or installing it on many computers.. OEM works rather nicely and is definitely easier on the pockets ;)

09-02-2007, 07:58 PM
Chainz is right, the box is the only difference I believe. My friend bought WinXP Home OEM for the computer I recently built him and it was the same CD, it just came in a cardboard sleeve instead of the box.

09-02-2007, 11:50 PM
Well, that's what I think, but I've also heard that you don't get full technical support like you do with the Retail version. Also, in terms of Windows, I've heard rumors that it doesn't qualify for WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage)...honestly, I don't know whether any of it is true.

09-03-2007, 09:14 AM
It all really depends on the product. OEM means original equipment manufacturer and technically is only sold to system builders. Still, it has become a normal practise to sell oem items to anyone simply because they are cheaper and will sell better.

In the case of OEM windows OS - you are limited to
*ONE license per machine ie. if you have a system crash or need to reformat etc and reinstall, you will need to call MS to be able to reactivate your copy.
*In some cases, limited support. This is simply because the onus of support gets put on the manufacturer that acquired the OEM license. eg. Dell, Acer etc
*I always use OEM copies for rigs I build. They are simply MUCH cheaper.


09-03-2007, 10:05 AM
hey, thanks for the information guys. I'm glad someone could clear it up for me.