What are the diffences? oem and Retail? drm / eula?

I read reviews that state you can't install windows retail 7 on more than one machine without buying new copy. Meaning it won't even let you ever? That is the lamest thing, money aside.
Is this true? How many time does the CD and CD key that come with it let you install windows 7, regardless of eula? (talking about drm guys)

Is it also true that windows xp can install up the 3 times? (and is it by eula or Drm, meaning it won't install or won't be accepted by microsoft if it's been installed over 3 times at one time, or just in the legalese?)

What are the actual practices microsoft uses? Can I install one retail version of windows 7 on thee different computers I might be making? Or will microsoft not let me activate the key for 3 different machines? Regardless of eula I want to know how it works in practice, or how it has worked in practice to you.

And after that maybe by eula too. humph.

OEM only installs once, and you have to call the microsoft automated support line, I've read in reviews, to change or upgrade to any different part. Exactly how strict is that? I've read reviews that say retail is the same, that you have to call to even change hds. I wonder if newegg reviews are right on that. Any exact info? Or how it went for you when you bought it..?

I want to still use XP, even if I don't to connect it to the Internet to do so.
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  1. ..I may have put this in the wrong way, I think I might have ment to put it as "discussion" not sure but oh well.
  2. Ever since Windows XP, Windows has had to be activated within 30 days of installation. As part of that activation process it takes a log of the equipment within your computer (each version of Windows does this slightly differently). Everytime you boot your computer it double checks your computer against this log, just incase you've altered/chnaged the hardware or tried to use the same install on a different computer altogether. Whether that install requires re-activation will depend on which parts were changed e.g. a different motherboard will require re-activation whereas a new graphics card or hard drive won't.

    Anyway, the vast majority of Windows licences are for single computer use only. The general population will see retail and OEM licences. OEM is packaged with a new computer and is tied to the motherboard and is not tranferrable, when the computer dies so does the licence. Retail, on the other hand, can be transferred to a different computer, but it still can only be installed on one computer.

    There are exceptions to this. Namely Volume licence keys and Family packs. Volume licence keys are mainly for business where a few keys are used for a large number of computers. The Family packs are a single key which can be installed on up to 3 computers. However, I have had a bad experience with this. I had installed my "3 computer licence" onto 3 machines and decided to upgrade one of those machines, unfortunately it wouldn't let me activate my upgrade. The good news was that I rang Microsoft and eventually got a new key I could activate that new machine with.
  3. So what happens if I try to install Windows 7 on another computer, when I have windows 7 installed on one computer already? (from same retial package)

    Will microsoft deactivate the other computer's activation key or something?
  4. NoUserBar said:
    So what happens if I try to install Windows 7 on another computer, when I have windows 7 installed on one computer already? (from same retial package)

    Will microsoft deactivate the other computer's activation key or something?

    It probably will fail activation, plus
    M'soft will tell you that the OS on the 2nd machine is not genuine, and gradually reduce it's functions until it is inoperable or until you activate it with a new licence. 1st thing you'll see is no desktop background and a note from Uncle Bill...you can run it for 30 days without activation...
  5. OEM versions of Windows 7 are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:

    - OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel

    - OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on

    - OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard

    - OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system

    Microsoft.com ^
  6. Alrighty then. Still not sure about exactly what would happen with trying multiple installs of win 7. But that seems irrelevant. I'll be buying two retail ones anyway. Guess I'll just get the oem for my mom.

    Thank you for the responses.
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