Differences Volume, Retail and OEM licensesmarvin
There are various types of licenses from Microsoft on the market. In addition to being able to choose, for example, Office 2021, you can often also choose from OEM, Retail and Volume licenses. Before you purchase a license, it is important to know what the actual differences are between these licenses.
What are OEM licenses from Microsoft?
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) licenses are licenses that are already installed on a device, for example when you buy a new computer from the store. However, these licenses may not work as ‘well’ in an overall business environment. An example of an OEM license is a new HP laptop that already has an OEM license from Windows. HP is the “OEM” here. However, this means that the license is linked to the device, and not to the user. As a result, the license is not transferable to other devices, and is specifically tied to that device. For example, if you want to scale up in the number of licenses within a business environment, these OEM licenses are of little use, because they are independent of each other.
What are Retail licenses from Microsoft?
Retail licenses from Microsoft are intended for Small Business and Consumer use. These are ‘loose’ licenses that are often purchased when only a few are needed. This is not interesting for the somewhat larger business users, because, for example, each license has to be installed separately and you cannot benefit from the scalable advantages of Volume licenses, more about this later. The difference between a Retail and an OEM license is that a Retail license is tied to the user instead of the device. This allows you to deactivate Retail licenses and then install them on a new device, which is why they are often slightly more expensive.
What are Microsoft Volume Licenses?
Volume licenses from Microsoft are often used for business purposes. One of the advantages is that you can also work remotely (remote) with this. These licenses are typically used between 5 and 250 employees. With Volume licenses you pay for the number of users who use it, whereby you can easily scale up or down. Volume licenses also bring a bit of convenience and time savings because you only receive one activation code, where you can activate all licenses at once. You also have ‘group benefits’, for example for safety, these things can easily be arranged for all users in one go. Retail licenses do not have the above advantages. Volume licenses are therefore very useful for SMEs.
OEM, Retail and Volume licenses – the main differences
The main features of these licenses:
- OEM license: Unique activation code, linked to device
- Retail license: Unique activation code, transferable, perpetual right of use, Microsoft support
- Volume license: MAK & KMS activation code, transferable, perpetual right of use, Microsoft support, downgrade rights, Group Policy, ability to work remotely
New licenses or pre-owned licenses?
In addition to choosing between OEM, Retail and Volume, these licenses are also available in new and pre-owned licenses. Whether you buy licenses new or pre-owned, they are exactly the same. The only ‘disadvantage’ is that you cannot register pre-owned licenses in Microsoft’s VLSC, but this is also not necessary. You can use licenses completely legally without registering them in the VLSC. The big advantage of pre-owned licenses is the considerable price difference.
Buy OEM, Retail and Volume Microsoft licenses
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