Save $$ – Buy OEM or Upgrade Software

You might be considering upgrading your current Windows installation to Vista in the near future. If so, considering purchasing OEM or Upgrade versions of the new operating system instead of the full retail package. This can really help save you some money.

There are a few “footnotes” about this type of software in general, so in a nutshell:

  • OEM can typically only be installed on one machine and the license is not transferable. You might have to purchase a small (i.e. under $5) peice of hardware from some vendors in order to purchase an OEM version.
  • Upgrade versions require you to have a “qualifying” product already installed on your machine. For example, Windows XP must be on your machine to install the Vista upgrade version.

Either way, both versions are the same as their full counterparts, however the difference is in the price tag. Just something to consider…


  1. You should mention that you don’t always get the same level of support from an OEM version as you do a retail version. Sometimes you don’t get any support.

  2. is it easy to find a reliable OEM seller…do somebody tell me a web site for OEMs…

  3. alexander the great says:

    upgrades are a cheap alternative…but its a pain to move the OS to a new machine because you then have to sit through an XP install only to then sit through a Vista upgrade….so its really only worth it if your only ever going to use that computer till you buy a new one. *just my 2 lazy cents*

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