Windows Vista OEM
- Cheaper than the packaged boxed
- Is only meant to be sold through computer retailers with new built computers
- Separate DVD’s For Vista 32bit & 64Bit versions.
- You have to buy either a 32bit version or 64bit version, not available on one DVD.
- Possible Issues when upgrading hardware or “fresh” installing Operating System on other PC, as OEM is meant to be for a single hard configuration not like Windows XP OEM which could be activated on multiple computers.
- May posses support/activation issues once installed (full extent unknown as yet).
Windows Vista Retail Packaging
- Official & Genuine Packaging & Manuals
- Is more expensive than OEM version
- Guaranteed Future Support & Activations
- Contains both 32bit & 64bit versions of Windows Vista for future upgradeability
- Hardware changes are more flexible & are done without any issues.
- Can be installed on any pc, not just official Vista computer building partners
- Less chance of you OEM version to be a counterfeit version (there are very good look-alike counterfeit versions available).
Straight from the horse's mouth -- "spokesperson" at Microsoft Australia:
"OEM versions of Windows Vista must be distributed to end-users with a fully assembled computer system and must be pre-installed."