OEM Operating Systems?



I've seen numerous online retailers selling OEM versions of XP Home and XP Pro - buying these can essentially halve the price of the full retail version.

Is there something I'm missing, or would you have to be mad to buy the retail version? Is there some support issue that I'm missing out on, or is it just as good, only cheaper? I'm curious as I'll be building a system this summer, and I'd rather save myself a wad of cash by buying the OEM version, so long as it's more or less the same thing.

Hope someone can help!


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OEM Operating Systems are designed to be packaged with pre-built systems. They are essientally the full software, but you lose MS tech support if you have a problem (but hey, thats what we are for :D)

OEM are cool... just be wary of those pre-builts that come with drive images that will only work on particular systems. If you get a separate XP disk with it's own book - good thing... If you get a 'system restore' disk - bad thing.
It's acctually not really legal to sell someone an OEM copy if the person doesn't also buy a computer (or vital parts of one). Of course it's hard to draw the line which ones are vital, so most people decide not to give a sh*t. So if you buy just the software, you are supposed to buy a retail. But since you're upgrading the computer anyway, go with the OEM.


Win98 that came with this machine was a 'system restore' disk, so I assume I'd run into trouble with it if I tried installing it on a new motherboard.

I was thinking of a new OS as I'd more or less have enough bits and pieces for a second machine, and rather than shell out the full retail price, the OEMs can be found for the same price as an OS upgrade. Several online retailers are selling OSes as OEM versions, so I wondered what the catch was.

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