Tuesday, February 6, 2007

To buy OEM or Retail Vista?

This is also an important factor to your budget to buy a new Vista. On my previous post, I went to Low Yat Plaza for the Vista Launch, and I got some answers I want. Now, a new problem arise, maybe it not just concern me, but all of you who read this.

What is OEM?
OEM stand of Original Equipment Manufacturer, or what in your mind is like Dell or HP. OEM product always not coming with fancy package, manual book, or even warranty, of course, much more cheaper. When we talk about OEM Windows, OEM is the cheaper version for "system builders"(Dell or HP). Buying OEM Vista is not advisable, but is still legal, as Microsoft don't like to receive lots of report from low end user to questioning this and that.

So what's the difference?
Both OEM and Retail software work exactly the same in function, but OEM version is bundle to some hardware, like motherboard. When you installed OEM version on a PC with the motherboard A, you had to use that Windows on the motherboard for your lifetime, unless your motherboard A burned out. The first time you installed it, OEM Vista will tied to your motherboard A, and when you change the motherboard to motherboard B, Vista detect it and you can't boot up. This is no good for user who like to upgrade or build their own system from ground.

Another minor different about OEM Vista is the license agreement. In most retail Vista, you had to click "I accept the license and agreement" to continue, but OEM Vista will assume that you accept the license and agreement once you open the package, and you can't make any refund or return. Funny...


Retail Vista come with 2 DVDs and manual book inside the cool box. The 2 DVDs work similar, except 1 is for 64-bit processor, another one is for 32-bit processor. For now where most user using 32-bit processor, buying a retail version is the right choice, as 64-bit processor will dominate the market soon. Retail version also come with 90 days(only?) of free support, while OEM don't have, but still accept paid support, if you need it. Retail Vista also allow you to transfer(not copy!) the Windows from one PC to another PC, regardless the motherboard or other hardware like OEM version.

How about my motherboard died?
Good question, it's Microsoft policy to allow the Vista license to transfer to new motherboard if your motherboard defective, but you need to call Microsoft service center to inform them about the activation on new motherboard. But, this is not guarantee will work, and, liar don't get ice-cream.

If I upgrade my motherboard?
Microsoft said: everything is a fair game, except motherboard. Once you upgraded your motherboard, Microsoft will consider it as a new PC, and OEM version is not usable on the motherboard anymore.

Here is the price list of Retail and OEM:

Windows Vista (Retail) Prices
Home Basic RM715
Home Premium RM848
Business RM1055
Ultimate RM1415
Windows Vista (OEM) Prices
Home Basic RM305
Home Premium RM395
Business RM500
Ultimate RM680
Windows Vista (Retail Upgrade) Prices
Home Basic RM369
Home Premium RM571
Business RM710
Ultimate RM930
For those who not afford to buy Full Retail Vista, Retail Upgrade may be the good choice to have all the retail benefit, but if you want to reformat your PC... you had to install XP first, then upgrade it to Vista... Everything is fair.
Which license should you install? I think I had given enough information about it, the rest you had to decide yourself. I know the prices are over our estimation, but if you all want to see the real "wow", please pay for it, Microsoft will support Vista until 2012, so if you buy Home Premium now, it just cost you RM 0.46 per day only, worth it. 

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Kew said...

wonder if they will have a local version selling much cheaper later on..., the price is still too expensive.

vhanded said...

I also thought about that before vista release, but when I made prices comparison, I wrongly use US retail price to compare with Malaysian OEM price, and I thought Malaysian price is so cheap, actually is same. I never see retail XP in Malaysia before, most of the time I just saw OEM version and pirated version... What a shame Malaysia!

Marius Muscalu said...

i want retail version for the OEM pricep... :)

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