As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Difference Between Vista OEM and Retail?

noobertnoobert Registered User regular
edited September 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Simple question really, what is the difference between an OEM version of Vista and the same Retail version of Vista?

noobert on

Posts

  • Options
    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    OEM is cheaper and can only be sold with new systems. To be legitimate, the OEM sticker must be affixed to the computer onto which the OS will be installed. I think Retail also gives you access to limited free Microsoft technical support, while OEM does not.

    Ruckus on
  • Options
    noobertnoobert Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Ruckus wrote: »
    OEM is cheaper and can only be sold with new systems. To be legitimate, the OEM sticker must be affixed to the computer onto which the OS will be installed. I think Retail also gives you access to limited free Microsoft technical support, while OEM does not.

    Hmm, ok thanks. I've been hearing rumors that OEM has a limited number of installs, while Retail can be reinstalled and reactivated on different systems an unlimited amount of times.

    Anyone know anything more in regards to that?

    noobert on
  • Options
    embrikembrik Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Aside from support / hard copy documentation and support, there are no functional differences. It's the same software.

    Edit: Just saw your second question. OEM can only be installed on one system, and you can move it once. It's actually pretty much the same as XP, they (MS) just weren't really clear on that previously. This article actually does a good job of explaining it.

    Edit 2: And reading the whole thing myself, it seems like that's the case for retail licensing as well (with a couple caveats), so the only real difference is the support and physical documentation.

    embrik on
    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

    I don't believe it - I'm on my THIRD PS3, and my FIRST XBOX360. What the heck?
  • Options
    DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Many places sell OEM without selling you any hardware. It's supposed to be more restrictive in successive installs, but its been tested and shown that it's generally not a problem.

    Don't try and install it on multiple machines though, that's just asking for trouble.


    Otherwise it's the packaging and documentation.

    Deusfaux on
  • Options
    MorskittarMorskittar Lord Warlock Engineer SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    OEM licenses aren't limited in terms of number of installs, but once they're installed on one machine, they can't be moved to another. Legally, at least.

    As OEM copies are roughly half the cost of retail, your best bet is to look at how much you'll upgrade hardware over the course of an OS lifetime; if you'll replace your hardware three times or more before switching to a new OS, retail is probably the way to go (or, if you want phone support instead of searching online articles). If you're going to buy an entirely new system a few times, you might as well just buy a new OEM license twice.

    Also, Vista retail copies allow you to order 64-bit media for about ten bucks, while OEM is fixed to one platform or the other. OEM Biz and Ultimate allow for downgrades, retail doesn't.

    edit: The "System Builder License agreement" with OEM licenses doesn't require it to be sold with hardware initially, but once the package is opened, you're the "System Builder" and can only transfer the license on a full computer system (new or otherwise).

    Morskittar on
    snm_sig.jpg
  • Options
    noobertnoobert Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    So if i plan on upgrading components often, go with Retail... Otherwise go with OEM.

    Thanks.

    noobert on
  • Options
    embrikembrik Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    noobert wrote: »
    So if i plan on upgrading components often, go with Retail... Otherwise go with OEM.

    Thanks.

    Read the article I linked above. The actual determination about whether a reactivation needs to happen is the same across all OEM and retail versions. You're better off buying the system builder copy. You can still call MS and explain that you've simply added component X and need to reactivate. Apparently, the reactivation determination "algorithm" is supposed to be more forgiving than the XP version.

    embrik on
    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

    I don't believe it - I'm on my THIRD PS3, and my FIRST XBOX360. What the heck?
  • Options
    DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I'm not clear on whether it has changed, but the old policy with XP was that once your MOTHERBOARD changed, that constituted a new computer in their opinion, and they wanted you to buy a new licence.

    Deusfaux on
  • Options
    MorskittarMorskittar Lord Warlock Engineer SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    If you guys are curious, I can pull up an OEM EULA tomorrow. Basically, they just say you can't move the license to a new "device", though device isn't defined. The intent is that the license stay on the original machine, but there isn't, and hasn't been in the past, any real guidelines as to what the original machine is. The motherboard thing was (and is) just common practice.

    Morskittar on
    snm_sig.jpg
  • Options
    PojacoPojaco Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    noobert wrote: »
    Ruckus wrote: »
    OEM is cheaper and can only be sold with new systems. To be legitimate, the OEM sticker must be affixed to the computer onto which the OS will be installed. I think Retail also gives you access to limited free Microsoft technical support, while OEM does not.

    Hmm, ok thanks. I've been hearing rumors that OEM has a limited number of installs, while Retail can be reinstalled and reactivated on different systems an unlimited amount of times.

    Anyone know anything more in regards to that?
    I just recently hit the limit of Validations allowed on my XP Pro OEM disc. I must have installed and activated it more than 20 times in that period. I don't know about the absence of this sort of limit on the retail copies though.

    Pojaco on
  • Options
    DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    why so many validations already?

    and what did it say when you "hit the limit"?

    and what does it suggest to do now or is there any way to continue on anyways

    Deusfaux on
  • Options
    BaldHermanBaldHerman Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Just to add that in many countries the EULA isn't legally enforacable, certainly not in Europe anyway, so there nothing to stop you from buying the OEM copy.

    BaldHerman on
  • Options
    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    my experience with retail and OEM xp copies is that they can both be reinstalled on the same machine an infinite number of times, they'll both fail activation if you try it on a significantly different machine (upgraded mobo etc) the difference is if you phone up microsoft they'll give you a new retail key no problem if you explain you had a hardware failure, or bought a new computer. If you have an OEM copy they *might* do it if you badger them enough, but its quite a bit more trouble and not a certainty

    and it really doesn't matter if the EULA is legally enforceable or not in your country, because you'd have to take microsoft to court to force them to give you an exception to it, and well i don't think i even need to explain why thats a bad course of action

    taliosfalcon on
    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
  • Options
    PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    noobert wrote: »
    Simple question really, what is the difference between an OEM version of Vista and the same Retail version of Vista?


    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=885079
    Looks good. Might be nice to have the "Too Lazy To Read" summary such as:

    * Personal purchase of OEM software is fine.
    * Said purchase requires real hardware -- Newegg's power cable splitter does not qualify.
    * COAs without discs are not legitimate.
    * OEM licenses cannot be transferred to new systems.
    * Motherboard replacement constitutes a "new system."
    * If you're shafted with a lousy mobo or the like, explaining to MS will almost certainly get official permission to transfer the license (See HTPC_Rookie below)
    * However, the whole thing (hardware + software) can be transferred as a unit.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • Options
    BaldHermanBaldHerman Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    If you have an OEM copy they *might* do it if you badger them enough, but its quite a bit more trouble and not a certainty

    and it really doesn't matter if the EULA is legally enforceable or not in your country, because you'd have to take microsoft to court to force them to give you an exception to it, and well i don't think i even need to explain why thats a bad course of action

    More and more people are wise to the fact that the EULA isn't worth shit. If you have to phone up MS for a new key then they don't tend to bother arguing anymore. I've done it a few times now on behalf of friends/family.

    BaldHerman on
  • Options
    MorskittarMorskittar Lord Warlock Engineer SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    That HardOCP write up is flat out wrong. You no longer need to buy any hardware with a sealed OEM package.

    Even within the licensing terms, an OEM license may be installed on different hardware, if that hardware was supplied by the OEM as a replacement for original parts in case of a failure; if you've installed the copy yourself, you're your own OEM.

    The key points-

    From the Vista OEM EULA:
    2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. The software license is permanently assigned to the device with which you acquired the software. That device is the “licensed device.” A hardware partition is considered to be a separate device.

    And from the System Builder License Agreement (emphasis mine):
    1. AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION AND ACCEPTANCE. Distribution of individual software licenses or hardware units contained in this Microsoft System Builder Pack (“package”) is not authorized unless you accept this license. You accept this license when you open this package. By accepting this license, you agree that you are a system builder. If you do not open this package, you may distribute it to another system builder. “System builder” means an original equipment manufacturer, or an assembler, reassembler, or installer of software on computer systems. If you choose not to accept this license, promptly return the unopened package to your distributor. Individual software licenses or hardware units cannot be returned after this package is opened.

    That's how companies like Newegg sell OEM licenses; they distributing them to "system builders".

    The re-activation limits really only refer to online automatic activations, which OEM licenses are more likely to fail on modified hardware. At that point it's just a matter of having a reasonable story, or answering "no" to the automated system when it asks if this is on a new device.

    Morskittar on
    snm_sig.jpg
Sign In or Register to comment.