Win 10 OEM or retail?


In Runtime
I'm doing 2 builds right now.
1 w/ Linux the other Win 10.

I purchased Win 10 OEM from a seller on ebay.
I did not know the difference @ the time vs OEM vs retail.

Do I have this right:
1. Microsoft owns your copy of Windows not you.
2. Tech support.
3. Can only be installed 1x. Cannot be installed on a latter date on a different computer.

1. You are considered the builder of the computer and own the copy of Windows not Microsoft.
2. No tech support.
3. Can be installed on a diffferent computer if needed in the future.

Do I have that all correct?

*With this build I am doing with Windows 10 OEM once installed is that it? I thought I read the MOBO I originally install it with is the only MOBO it an be installed on. Therefore if upgrading/building a computer in the future with a differant MOBO will NOT work. Is this correct? If I upgrade my MOBO or do a complete different build in the future I would need to use Windows retail?

* I want to install a copy of Windows 10 on a laptop.
1. If I install Windows OEM on a laptop that will NEVER have upgraded components in the future can I only install it 1x?
2. In the future what if I wipe/erase the SSD I install Windows 10 OEM on. Can I reinstall Windows 10 OEM back onto this SSD. It will still have all the original components and the same MOBO.
3. Once installed If I wipe/erase the SSD I originally installed on too bad it cannot be reinstalled. I would need to purchase anther copy of Windows to reinstall on.

I just want to know if I should return Windows 10 OEM and buy Windows 10 retail.

thanks everyone


Fully Optimized
I believe for OEM keys, you must destroy the machine you installed it on the first time. And yes, also no support. But I'm not sure honestly.


N. Calif.
OEM means that Microsoft has nothing to do with it after it's sold, the OEM (builder) provides any tech support. The license is not transferable to another machine.

Retail means that Microsoft provides tech support for it. The license can be transferred to a different machine.

In either case, you never "own" the software. MS simply grants you a license to use the software.


Fully Optimized
An OEM license should be used on a new computer that you've built. From a compliance standpoint, the license isn't supposed to be moved to another computer. If you swap the motherboard it will likely trigger a deactiviation and you will have to activate Windows again. I don't think that's a big issue. Same thing will happen with Retail keys.

But with Retail, you have the option to completely remove the license from one machine and move it to another. You can use a retail key on an existing machine that you didn't build, but you're not supposed to use an OEM key to upgrade another manufacturer's PC.

Again, this is really all from a compliance standpoint as far as I know. If you just have two PCs for personal use or a friend/family member, I doubt you will have an issue. When you are building lots of computers for clients, then it becomes important you get this stuff right.

Bigger concern is buying license keys on ebay. I've heard stories of people who've done so and the license became deactivated later because the seller resold the same key multiple times. Make sure they come physically sealed in packaging IMO.