I have been noticing a number of advertsiments for OEM software recently. I thought that OEM was installed on a new machine by the dealer and was offered at reduced price. If buy it separately doesn't it contravene copyright or something?
To be technically correct, OEM software (and here I'm talking about Microsoft software) must only be sold with a new computer OR a 'substantial' item of hardware, such as a motherboard.
I have also seen many advertisements offering OEM copies of Windows XP as standalone items, and when I've spoken to Microsoft about it I've recieved a vague and inconclusive answer. The company pays lip service to its own terms and conditions, but doesn't seem that concerned.