What is the difference between OEM, RETAIL and ESD license?

OEM, RETAIL, and ESD are different types of Windows licenses with varying terms of use and activation methods. Here are the key differences between these types of licenses:

  1. OEM License: An OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) license is a Windows license that is pre-installed by the computer manufacturer on a new computer. These licenses are sold in bulk to computer manufacturers and are tied to the specific computer they are installed on. They cannot be transferred to another computer, and the license is tied to the hardware it was originally installed on.
  2. Retail License: A retail license is a Windows license that is sold to an individual or organization for personal or business use. Retail licenses can be transferred to another computer, as long as the license is removed from the previous computer. Retail licenses are sold at a higher price compared to OEM licenses.
  3. ESD License: An ESD (Electronic Software Download) license is a digital license that is purchased directly from Microsoft or an authorized retailer. ESD licenses are delivered digitally and can be used to activate Windows on a new or existing computer. These licenses are tied to a Microsoft account and can be easily transferred to another computer. ESD licenses are sold at the same price as retail licenses.

In summary, OEM licenses are tied to the hardware they were originally installed on and cannot be transferred, retail licenses can be transferred to another computer, and ESD licenses are digital licenses that can be used to activate Windows on a new or existing computer and can be transferred easily.

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