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Different versions of Windows xp, can someone please tell me what the differences are

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Feb 16, 2002
Different versions of Windows xp, can someone please tell me what the differences are

XP Home (OEM)
XP Pro (OEM)
XP Home (Retail)
XP Pro (Retial)

what is the MSDN version ? and what are the differences between OEM and retial ? im looking for a new OS for my g/f's computer, thats all.


Inactive Moderator
Dec 17, 2000
Portland, OR
What are the differences between OEM and retail ?
1. OEM versions must be sold with a piece of hardware (normally a MB or HDD, if not an entire PC, although MS has greatly relaxed the hardware criteria for WinXP) and are permanently bound to the first PC on which they are installed. An OEM license, once installed, is not legally transferable to another computer under any circumstances. This is the best reason to avoid OEM versions; if the PC dies or is otherwise disposed of (even stolen), you cannot re-use your OEM license on a new PC.

2. MS provides no support for OEM versions. If you have any problems that require outside assistance, your only recourse is to contact the vendor of the OEM license. This would include such issues as a lost Product Key or replacing damaged installation media (MS does make allowances for those instances when you can prove that the OEM has gone out of business). This doesn't mean that you can't download patches and service packs from MS...just no free live or email support for problems with the OS.

3. An OEM CD cannot perform an upgrade, as it was designed to be installed only upon an empty HDD.

4. If the OEM CD was designed by a specific manufacturer, such as eMachines, Sony, HP, Compaq, etc., it will most likely only install on the same brand of PC, as an additional anti-piracy feature. Further, such CDs are severely customized to contain only the minimum of device drivers, and a lot of extra nonsense, that the manufacturer feels necessary for the specific model of PC for which the CD was designed. The "generic" OEM CDs, such as are sold to small systems builders, don't have this particular problem though, and are pretty much the same as their retail counterparts.