OEM vs Full Version

What’s the difference between OEM and full versions of Office 2003? I’ve found some that say OEM can be installed only on a single computer. Does that mean you’d have to buy another copy of Office every time a system is upgraded if you have OEM version, and does the full version allow it to be reinstalled when a system is upgraded? I’ve had OEM Office 97 about 10 years and was able to install it again when I upgraded the system. Has ability to do that with OEM versions been removed on newer Office versions, and does full version allow reinstall upon upgrade of system?

The OEM version can only be installed on a single computer and cannot be moved to another system.

The retail version can be installed on your main computer as well as on a laptop (used by the main user of the first computer), and you can move it to other computers (if you stop using it and/or remove it on the old computer).

Some upgrades may trigger the activation “feature” so that you have to reactivate.

What if I buy and install OEM Office today and the hard drive dies tonight? Then do I have to buy another hard drive and another Office? How ridiculous is that?

[QUOTE=bevills1;2296949]What if I buy and install OEM Office today and the hard drive dies tonight? Then do I have to buy another hard drive and another Office? How ridiculous is that?[/QUOTE]

Nope, you can reinstall it on your new hard disk. Office will then still be installed on only one system. The OEM version is in principle linked to the hardware that was bought in connection with OEM version (I believe OEM versions can only be sold with new hardware, not separately).

(I believe OEM versions can only be sold with new hardware, not separately).

That is correct.

[QUOTE=Da_Taxman;2297017] (I believe OEM versions can only be sold with new hardware, not separately).[/QUOTE]
In my experience it seems to be an old rule that isn’t adhered to, nor vigorously enforced these days.

At one time, vendors would include a molex extension or some other trivial electronic thingy with the OEM disk to comply with the rule. Now they don’t bother.

Uh oh…did I just throw a red flag ?

I read in another forum that Microsoft purges their records of activation periodically, and a user was able to activate OEM Office2003 5 times within 3 years which was done due to rebuilding or replacing certain hardware that failed. If that’s true, then there may be little benefit choosing full version over OEM version.

Also I’ve bought Word97, Nero6 and other OEM software all by themselves with no hardware purchase. I suspect those sellers may have broken their agreement with the software companies, but I don’t know that.

[QUOTE=bevills1;2297392]… If that’s true, then there may be little benefit choosing full version over OEM version.[/QUOTE] Unless of course you want to LEGALLY use Office 2003. :wink:

Actually prices for full version and oem version is about the same at eBay, and it’d be silly to get the oem at all in that circumstance. I didn’t mean to imply it’d be a good idea to use the oem illegally but was simply stating what’s possible to do based on what I’ve read in other posts.