XP Home - OEM or Retail?

  GRFT 08:57 17 Aug 2005

What are the disadvantages of OEM compared with the Retail version of XP Home?
I want to upgrade a WIN98se PC.

  Rogerfredo 09:00 17 Aug 2005

None, other than no support for OEM from Microsoft. (You can still access the knowledgebase though).

  ventanas 09:11 17 Aug 2005

You want to upgrade, then you must buy retail, even though it costs quite a bit more. OEM is illegal unlessed purchased under certain criteria. For instance if you intend to upgrade any of the hardware it may be possible to purchase an OEM version along with the hardware you buy, but it must be a qualifying item, and the OEM Windows is tied to it, so if the hardware fails in the future, and is replaced, you must also buy a new copy of Windows. Also OEM versions of Windows can only be legally purchased from a certified Microsoft system builder.

The idea that the only difference with OEM is that there is no support from Microsoft is a common error offered frequently by the misinformed. Sorry OzzyOs

  Terry Brown 09:18 17 Aug 2005

OEM is mainly for NEW installations only, and is usually configured to run your current setup for the one machine. If you upgrade (Change hardware),it may think this is a new machine and refuse to work, where as retail will work on any configeration or upgrade

  PC Bilbo 09:46 17 Aug 2005

Some confusion here.I asked Microsoft about this when I attended one of their seminars.

With Retail version will be able to move O.S.to another computer provided you first uninstall.M.S. will issue a new product key if necessary.

With OEM XP can only be used on computer first installed on and "dies" with the PC & you cannot get one to one help from M.S.

You can change certain parts and still not affect
License e.g. I have changed hard drives and processors without any problem but not a mobo so far.

Unless you use M.S.rather than Forum for help, OEM is the way ( a £3 Mouse is a vital bit of kit!)
You can buy 2 OEM for virtually 1 Retail

  spuds 10:13 17 Aug 2005

If you want use either OEM or retail, try Ebuyer click here In the Ebuyers search tab, put in the following Quickcodes for the particular product that you want. OEM XP Home 66489. OEM XP Pro 64490. Retail XP Home 65800. Retail XP Pro 65801. You may find a better price elsewhere, but Ebuyer are very reliable and the products with Microsoft approval.

  ventanas 11:21 17 Aug 2005

You can change hard drives and processors without problem, but change the motherboard and the OEM licnece goes. I agree a mouse is a vital bit of kit, and does qualify for an OEM purchase. But they don't last. If the mouse fails you lose your Windows licence. GRFT can go this way if he wishes, but I consider it too much of a risk. Also note the wording on the Ebuyer site. Microsoft OEM Operating system software MUST be purchased with a non-peripheral hardware component or fully assembled computer system. Non-peripheral hardware consists of a motherboard, graphics card, memory module, hard disk, keyboard or mouse. Full retail boxed products must be ordered if no hardware/PC system is to accompany the sale.

  PC Bilbo 17:29 17 Aug 2005


Agree this is how it's supposed to work but I think MS are just putting the frightners on us.

I have XP Home OEM and have swapped 3 different types mice with no problems during reinstallation and validation.

  Joe R 17:37 17 Aug 2005


M/S do not count a mouse, as part of the hardware that can be changed.

According to their own knowledge base, this hardware consists of mobo', hard drive, cpu and memory.

If you change any of these parts individually, a free phone call to microsoft, and an explanation of why, the part/s have changed, is enough for your o/s to be activated again.

  Batch 18:37 17 Aug 2005

One of the things that Microsoft is trying to do with its software validation (e.g. when you download updates) is to check that OEM licence keys tie into the system builder (e.g. MESH, DELL) that the OEM Licence key was issued to. Although I don't think Microsoft are cracking down hard (yet), the idea is that you only get updates if you have appropriate hardware from the OEM manufacturer that the licence key was issued to.

Having said that, I believe Microsoft have said that they will not restrict security updates.

  GRFT 07:23 18 Aug 2005

Many thanks for the info and advice. I think I'll play it safe and go for the retail version.

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