Windows 10 OEM, DESP, Retail, ESD: Microsoft’s operating system has different versions, but how do they differ? And for what purpose do I need which version?
Windows 10 is not just Windows 10 – different versions differ in terms of functionality and price. Here’s what these terms mean and which version best suits your needs.
Windows 10 PRO OEM
The best-known version is Windows 10 Pro OEM, which stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer.” Microsoft sells this version to the manufacturers of PCs or laptops, who then install the operating system themselves and sell it with the device. In short: if you buy a computer with Windows 10 preinstalled, you usually have the OEM version. Sometimes the manufacturer also includes a CD, but often just an activation code.
Even if the OEM version is intended for manufacturers, you can also buy it as a regular user, for example, from Amazon. In terms of functionality, you get a full-fledged Windows 10, which is often cheaper than the retail version. The disadvantages: You can only use this version on the PC on which it was first installed. You also have to decide beforehand whether you want the 32-bit or the 64-bit version. There is no packaging or telephone support from Microsoft. If you have any problems, you must contact the computer manufacturer.
Since 2020, however, Microsoft has been allowed to tie the OEM license to your Microsoft account in Windows 10 (version 1607 or later). This means that you can change your PC’s hardware (video card, RAM, processor, motherboard, or other components). In case of deleting the license, you can reactivate it directly using the Microsoft account linked to the license.
Main features of Windows OEM License:
● You need to tie it to your Microsoft account before making any hardware changes
● You cannot install it on multiple PCs at the same time
● You can reinstall it on the same PC
● It has a lower price than the Retail, also because only the code is sent without the installation disk or USB key
● PC manufacturers usually install it
Windows 10 Retail
The retail version of Windows 10 is intended for sale in electronics stores or online retailers. It usually comes as a DVD (sometimes also as a USB stick) and has packaging and instructions. You can also transfer the license to another computer and use Microsoft’s telephone support, making the retail version more expensive than the OEM version.
Main features of Windows Retail License:
● It is transferable to another computer
● You can install it on any PC, but not on multiple PCs at the same time
● It has a higher price than the OEM, also because it usually includes the installation disk or USB stick
Windows 10 DSP
The abbreviation “DSP” stands for “Delivery Service Partner.” Windows 10 DSP, like the retail version, comes with packaging and instructions but without Microsoft support.
Windows 10 bulk
If you buy Windows 10 in bulk, you usually only get a DVD in a simple paper sleeve without packaging or other accessories. Microsoft support is also not included.
Windows 10 ESD
Windows 10 ESD (“Electronic Software Distribution”) refers to an electronic Windows license, the license key of which Microsoft sends by email.