It is more than possible that the formats or types we are talking about or are more than familiar from having heard them on some occasion. Be that as it may, what we must be clear about is that we can acquire a key for the Microsoft operating system of the type OEM, Retail or Volume. Previously we have mentioned that each of these formats has its own initial characteristics, but we must also know that their price is different. hence precisely the importance of opting for one type or another when activating the operating system.
At the same time it is interesting to know that the two most common at the moment are the OEM type or Retail, as we will see below.
Differences between the types of keys
Most of you will already know that when we refer to the Windows key, it is made up of a series of identifying characters. These are unique to each operating system and are somewhat similar to our own DNI. Therefore, we could say that it is a key element in any legal operating system.
Advantages of OEM keys
Therefore, one of the main differences that we find here is that the OEM licenses they are the most suitable for a single computer with its corresponding hardware. We can say that they are the most used and common for a long time. In addition, when purchasing a new one, this format is the most common one that we find on the Internet for purchase. But that’s not all, but they are also usually cheaper than Retail, hence they attract more the attention of users.
To give us a more approximate idea of what we are talking about, we will tell you that OEMs are the licenses that are included when we buy a new pc that comes to us already assembled. In this way, when we turn it on for the first time and connect to the Internet, we activate it automatically and the hardware of that computer is linked to the corresponding key. In fact, it is the motherboard of the computer that is associated, hence, if we change it, we lose it.
We must bear in mind that as a general rule we can change the RAM or hard disk without problems with this item. However, things get complicated if we refer to others as the CPU or the aforementioned plate.
When to buy a Retail
Among the most used types that we have mentioned before, on the other hand, we find the Retail. It is true that these are more expensive, but in certain circumstances they will interest us much more. An example is the case we were talking about earlier. In other words, assuming that in the future we plan to make major changes to the PC hardware, such as replacing the motherboard, a Retail will be much more interesting.
Although they are somewhat more expensive, as we mentioned before, this format is better if we think in the long term. And it is that it can be used and installed in others computers with different hardware configurations. In the event that we have a Retail, and we change the PC hardware, the license will remain valid. The only thing we must be clear about here is that this key, even if it is Retail, can only be running on a single computer at the same time.
With everything and with it these can be very interesting in the event that we ourselves are the ones who assemble our PC, change components from time to time, etc.
Keys of type Volume or GVLK
Once we are clear about the differences between OEM and Retail, if we want to go a step further in terms of the number of teams, those of type Volume they may interest us. We tell you all this because they offer us the possibility of being able to be used on several computers at the same time. Of course, as you can imagine, this format is designed for small and large companies rather than for the end user. These are the ones that are actually going to need a good amount of standalone Windows-based computers.
Therefore, instead of acquiring standalone licenses one by one, the firm pays for one of this type through Microsoft and uses it on all their computers. At the same time in terms of price, when buying a large number of keys combined in one, they tend to be cheaper. This allows us all PCs from that company are activated with the same license and at a more affordable price. This is something that will be appreciated by both the company’s economy and the system administrators this.
Something that we must bear in mind is that these types of licenses are not always going to be found under the name of Volume. To avoid confusion, sometimes when companies acquire these massive licenses for multiple machines that are ordered directly from Microsoft, they are also referred to as GVLK. But with everything and with it, as expected, both the advantages and the benefits of which we have spoken before, in these GVLK licenses They are the same that we have told you.
License for a PC assembled by me
A few years ago many users ventured to assemble their own computers component by component. It must be said that in Windows 7 and previous versions, when activating the system with an OEM, we had no problem. However, mainly due to piracy issues, Microsoft decided to change this policy as of Windows 8. For this reason, from that moment on, OEM licenses were reserved almost exclusively for use by PC manufacturers.
This means that, as we mentioned in previous lines, if we plan to mount our own PC and replace its hardware from time to time, it is better to opt for a Retail one. At the same time we must also take into consideration that these OEMs have other limitations such as those that we will see below.
- We will not have direct support from Microsoft, but from the manufacturer of the equipment that provided it to us.
- Retail are valid for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. However, when buying an OEM we have to specify the architecture of the PC where we will use it, since it will only be valid on that one.
- Originally, OEM licenses weren’t useful for installing future versions of Windows, but this is something that Microsoft is fixing over time.
What license should I buy
From all the posts we have commented on these lines, perhaps the time will come when you ask yourself the type of license that interests us the most. We have already mentioned before that OEMs are usually provided to us by PC manufacturers and are associated with the hardware sold. in the event that we change complements such as the CPU or the license plate, we will lose it.
Therefore, if we are going to assemble our own computer and change all kinds of parts in the future, it is advisable to opt for a Retail one. Although the price of this modality is slightly higher than the first one, over time it will surely not be more profitable in these cases. The main reason for this is that it will allow us to update our PC over the years without having to acquire another Windows operating system.
This is what refers to the end user, since if we refer to a more professional sector focused on the company, the ideal would be a Volume license. This is because we can use it on multiple independent computers. At the same time acquire a large quantity, its cost is lower.