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Last response: in Windows 7
July 6, 2011 6:44:35 AM

WHAT IS THE differense between the OEM version of windows 7 and the retail verwsion?
July 6, 2011 8:34:32 AM

AFAIK: OEM version is attached to a given PC (hence OEM) and retail is not - you can move the installation to more than one PC provided that it runs on only one PC at the time. This is typically the case for people that build their own computers.

Functionally they are the same. It is just legal issue.
July 6, 2011 8:36:04 AM

also as a newcomer, small advice - don't use all capital letters; that is used if you shout... and I hope your are not since you ask for info/advice... ;) 
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July 6, 2011 1:00:36 PM

The software itself is the same - your rights are different. The main issue is support - you get it with the retail version, but its very limited with OEM. Most online retailers will have a link to explain the differences in more detail.

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a c 371 $ Windows 7
July 6, 2011 7:34:49 PM

What is the difference between the OEM, and the Retail version of Windows 7?

There are 3 major differences between these 2 items. The physical DVD disks themselves contain exactly the same content.

1. OEM copies of Windows 7 come in either 32, or 64 bit flavors. You must decide which version you want, and make sure you purchase that copy. With a retail copy, you get both 32 and 64 bit Windows 7 DVD’s in the same box.

2. OEM copies cannot be transferred from one PC to another. Once you install an OEM copy of Windows 7 on a PC it must remain with that PC forever, unless upgraded to a newer version of Windows in the future. Retail versions can be moved from PC to PC, but your retail copy of Windows 7 cannot be installed on more than one PC at any given time.

3. OEM copies do not come with any support from Microsoft. If you need to call Microsoft for support with Windows 7, you must pay a fee to do so. Retail copies come with a phone support incident included in the price.

The Prophecy! :hello: 
June 4, 2012 6:28:39 AM


You mention, "Retail versions can be moved from PC to PC, but your retail copy of Windows 7 cannot be installed on more than one PC at any given time.", but I am curious to know how they (Microsoft) knows whether you are using one or more installs?

What happens if my hard drive crashes and is unretrievable and lets say I build another computer and try to install Windows 7 (retail full version) to that computer... Do I have to worry about anything when I do that or will it work perfectly as long as that original computer that the software was on is inactive (offline)?
a b $ Windows 7
June 4, 2012 8:04:58 AM

The Motherboard has a Serial Number, Uncle Bill will know... He'll also know which CPU you install... and how much RAM... BUT if you should destroy your mobo and re-install Windows, when it comes to activation, at the discretion of a M'soft operator you may succeed with telephone activation... meanwhile you'll probably get away with increasing RAM and replacing CPU with a better one.