Windows 7 OEM – what is it and can I buy it?

What is Windows 7 OEM software? How are they different from retail editions and why are they cheaper? Know the Microsoft license terms for OEM editions of Windows 7.
What is Windows 7 OEM software and why is it cheaper than the retail editions? If you aren’t already aware of what it is, then here you will find detailed information on it and why it is available at a lower price than the retail editions.

Windows 7 OEM is a piece of software released to the “original equipment manufacturers” by Microsoft.These include popular PC or laptop vendors like Dell, Lenova, HP, etc. However, it is not just the branded vendors, but anyone who can build his or her own PC can buy a windows 7 OEM edition!

The OEM editions are usually identical to the retail editions in terms of features.The OEM editions are also eligible for windows anytime upgrades! Thus you can upgrade from windows 7 Home premium to say, windows 7 Ultimate, if you want.But, how are they different from the retail editions and why are they available at lower prices?

windows 7 OEM

How is windows 7 OEM software different from retail editions?

Unlike the retail editions of windows 7, you won’t find a manual or any fancy packaging along with it. With a retail copy of windows 7, you will get both the 32-bit and 64-bit discs but with an OEM edition, you will get either the 32-bit edition or the 64-bit edition and not both. But it is important to remember that even if you get both the discs with a retail copy of windows 7, you can only install either the 32-bit edition or the 64-bit edition on a PC, at any time.

A retail copy of windows 7 will get active support from Microsoft, from the time you activate it. But if you buy an OEM version, then you might have to fall back on the PC or laptop vendor for support.If you had bought it for a PC that you built on you own, then you may practically get limited or no official support and you will have to fall back on the huge knowledge base available on the internet to solve any issues.

The other big different is with respect to licensing. If you hold the license to a retail boxed copy of windows 7, then the ownership of the license lies with you. You can thus install it on one PC and, if you want, you can install it on a completely different PC, after uninstalling it from the computer on which it is installed.You can then activate the windows 7 installation online.

But an OEM windows edition can be installed on only one PC and it is then tied to the PC’s motherboard. Thus the license is limited to the first computer where you install it.You can reinstall the OEM software on the same PC but not on a different PC or laptop! Microsoft does allow you to transfer the OEM license to another PC (motherboard) in case of hardware failures, but then the activation of Windows 7 OEM installation on the new PC or laptop can only be done through phone! This means that you will have to explain Microsoft on what made you to transfer the OEM license to a new PC (newer motherboard).

Anyone intending to buy a windows 7 OEM software will do well to keep in mind the above important differences before deciding to buy it.If you are an expert in building your own PC and can resolve issues with windows on your own, then you will benefit in buying an windows 7 OEM software. Note that not many issues may arise with installation and the procedures are also simple. Further, if you are sure that you are not going to frequently move the license between computers, then windows 7 OEM is software is for you.

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