Vista Ultimate OEM V Retail

1 Feb 2006
Hi Guys and Gals,

What are the restrictions / differences between the Retail and OEM versions of Vista Ultimate?

I've heard OEM is locked to your motherboard and other stuff , so any hardware changes are out! That cant be right can it?

12 Jun 2005
St Albans
If you search you'll see this question has been asked many times before :)

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99% of all Vista Questions answered here... - Very useful thread
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The Official OcUK Vista Licencing Questions FAQ Thread - Again a very useful thread

The-Void (From 99% of all Vista questions answered here...) said:
Should I get OEM or Retail?

The answer to this question is how much can you afford because the OEM Vista is a lot cheaper than Retail Vista, but this comes at the cost of more stringent licensing restrictions and limited support from Microsoft

Benefits of Vista OEM.

* Considerably cheaper than Retail

Drawbacks of Vista OEM

* No direct support from Microsoft
* Limited upgrade path - no machine / machine transfers (or motherboard upgrades)
* Only contains Vista32 or Vista64 NOT both.

There seems to be a belief amongst some people that Microsoft will still honour a motherboard change on OEM Vista as they did with OEM XP. Good luck to you. It took a lot of effort to get Microsoft to change its mind and offer the option of machine-machine transfer (and Mobo upgrade) on the RETAIL version of Vista.

** Important News about RETAIL Vista Home Premium Version ***

It has been discovered that the RETAIL Vista Home Premium only contains the 32Bit Version and instructions to obtain the 64Bit Version. Whilst you are still entitled to the 64bit version, you have to send off your product key to Microsoft and wait for them to send you the 64bit version.

See here.

Link to the Microsoft website to order the 64bit version of Home Premium Retail.
(Credit to cookie12)

In answer..

Are you planning to change motherboards and wish to try/change between Vista32 and Vista64?

Yes. Then you need RETAIL

Are you happy to save a few quid, commit to either Vista32 or Vista64 and are absolutely positive you are never going to upgrade your motherboard?

Yes. Then you need OEM
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