OEM vs Retail

I'm putting together my first build. I'm looking at putting windows 7 professional on it and I noticed that I have 2 options (Or so I assume) OEM and Retail. The only thing I can figure out is the price difference, but why is that? I need to know which one I should get for my build.
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  1. Best answer
    For Windows 7, the difference between OEM and retail is that the license is different. For example, the retail license allows you to re-use the license key whereas the OEM does not. Retail also covers both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of the OS IIRC whereas OEM only covers one version. Presumably at least partially due to the increased freedom afforded by the retail license, OEM is generally cheaper than retail for the same type of Windows OS.
  2. did you try to search the forum, it been ask a lot.
  3. rgd1101 said:
    did you try to search the forum, it been ask a lot.

    Yeah I have been, nothing has been super clear until that last post.

    So its the same product, but no case, different licence, and no tech support?
  4. Pretty much, although no tech support may be a bit extreme. MS still does offer a little help. For example, having upgraded some systems that had an OEM license copy, I know from experience that should you do something that may need a new license key, MS will usually give you a new one so long as you're just upgrading or fixing a computer that had an OEM copy rather than trying to replace that computer.

    So, yeah, the product is the same and the license is a little different. Tech support, although not non-existence, is also probably limited, but honestly, you've got sites such as Tom's for that anyway and it's still all free here ;)
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