Understanding the difference between OEM and retail keys

If you are about to purchase a Windows Operating System, you are provided with two different options available to consider. You can either by OEM directly from Windows or you can purchase retail keys from a third party supplier. It is important for everyone who wishes to buy Windows to have a clear understanding of the difference that exists in between OEM and retail keys. Then you will be able to overcome a lot of negative consequences that might happen due to lack of knowledge and understanding.

Most of the desktop or laptop computers that we purchase in today’s world come along with pre-installed Windows operating system. When you boot the computer, you will figure out that it is working. You will not be able to find any difference in between the installed version and the copy of windows that you purchased separately from a third party supplier. However, these two are not the same. There are some significant differences in between them. We will let you know about those differences through this article. After reading this article, you will also be in a position to make an informed decision at the time of purchasing Windows.

What exactly is OEM Windows?

To begin with, let’s understand what is meant by OEM Windows. The abbreviation OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM produces both software and hardware, which will be used within the end product of another company.

When you take a look at the Windows Operating System, you will figure out that Microsoft is an OEM. That’s because Windows Operating System, developed by Microsoft is being used in a variety of desktop and laptop computers manufactured by other brands, such as HP, Dell, Asus, MSI and Lenovo. There is a confusing meaning associated with OEM. That’s when an original equipment manufacturer term is being used for such brands who offer personal computers.

Windows OEM is not something that came out to play during recent years. Microsoft has a rich history of developing the Windows Operating System for decades. We are familiar with a few versions of the operating system that Microsoft produced in the recent past as well. Windows 95, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 7 are perfect examples for such operating systems produced by Microsoft for the people to use.

When you take a look at OEM and retain in terms of Windows usage and software, you will figure out that they are identical. That’s because you will be able to receive all the features. In addition to that, you will keep on getting all the software updates, as soon as they are made available by Microsoft.

Similar to retail keys, OEM Windows also come in two different versions as the 32-bit version and 64-bit version. However, the popularity of the 31-bit version of Windows is declining along with time, due to the lack of features that come along with it.

What’s the difference between OEM Windows and retail keys?

Now you have a basic understanding of what OEM Windows is. With that in mind, let’s deep dive and figure out the differences that exist between OEM Windows and Retail CD keys.

The biggest difference that you can find in OEM Windows is that it comes along with a product key, which is attached to a specific device. In other words, every single device that has OEM Windows will contain a unique product key. You will not be able to find a copy of Windows with the same product key on any other device found out there in the world. However, the retail product key that is used for a Windows installation in a specific machine can be transferred to another machine.

We were able to see how a large number of laptops came along with OEM Windows. In those laptops, it was possible for you to see the product key at the bottom of the device. You just had to turn it over and you will be able to see the product key. However, you cannot see product key is printed on the bottom of the laptop in devices that are manufactured in today’s world. That’s because manufacturers tend to go ahead and embed the OEM key directly into the firmware of the laptop. Firmware of the laptop can either be BIOS or UEFI. In both these options, you can see how the OEM key is embedded. It will be picked by the Windows operating system and used whenever needed.

Manufacturers have done an excellent job by embedding the OEM key to the firmware. It can help you to stay away from the hassle of turning your laptop up and down, especially when you are asked to enter the product key by the system. In fact, you don’t need to enter the product key at all and it will be picked automatically by the system whenever needed.

People who used older laptops would now notice how the product key gets rubbed along with time. After a few years of using the laptop, you will not be able to see the OEM key on the backside of it. This can lead you towards a variety of struggles.

When you go for a hardware upgrade such as a motherboard replacement, you will be asked to reactivate your copy of Windows. In such a situation, you should enter the OEM key, which you can find on the back panel of the laptop. But if it has been erased, you will have to face a lot of struggles. Due to the same reason, you will be forced to stick to existing hardware. You will not be able to upgrade hardware and if you go for it, you will not be able to use the operating system. Due to the same reason, we see how many people decided to throw away the laptops that they owned.

You don’t need to struggle with this anymore. That’s because they have taken appropriate measures to embed OEM directly to the firmware of the device. Therefore, you will never come across any of the above-mentioned issues.

OEM Windows is cheaper

Upon analyzing the price of OEM and retail keys, you will be able to spot a massive difference as well. In fact, you will figure out that OEM Windows is marked at a significantly lower price tag when compared to retail keys. That’s because the device manufacturers don’t just produce one laptop or a desktop computer. They produce these devices in bulk. As a result, they have been able to reduce the cost associated with OEM significantly.

No tech support

Microsoft has also taken necessary measures to waive off fees from the OEM Windows licensing due to another reason. That’s because you will not be able to get Microsoft Tech Support along with OEM Windows. In other words, you don’t have the opportunity to call the Microsoft Tech Support team and get answers to the questions and doubts that you have in mind. Instead, you will have to contact the tech support that comes with your laptop or desktop manufacturing company. They will be able to assist you with your queries. In addition to that, you will also be able to discover their own online forums, which you can browse through to find answers to the questions. If you don’t find an answer to a question that you have, you can think about opening up a new thread for it on the forum. Then experts will come forward and provide you with the response that you are looking for.

No upgrades

Another major difference that you can find in between OEM Windows and retail keys is upgrades. With OEM Windows, you are not provided with the freedom to upgrade the version of Windows that you have. For example, if you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, and if you want to get Windows 10, you cannot go for an upgrade. You will be forced to proceed with a clean install, which can bring in a lot of hassle as well.

How to get OEM Windows?

If you are looking forward to getting your hands on OEM Windows, you can take a look at Keys Bundle. It has maintained a solid reputation by offering OEM Windows products at affordable prices. You can simply visit the website, look for software that you want and purchase it. You can get any Windows product purchased from Keys Bundle.