What are the different types of Windows Licenses?

There are mainly three types of Windows Licenses.

1. OEM

  • OEM is the acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer. It contains the License that you get when your Windows comes pre-installed with your hardware device.
  • The user has limited control over his license in this case. The License or Product Key is not transferable to other hardware. You can use this key only on its original device.
  • Usually the lighter editions of Windows are provided in Windows PCs by the OEMs; for example, Windows 10 Single Language or Windows 10 Home come pre-installed on Windows PCs, and not Windows 10 Pro.

2. Retail

  • The Retail License is the one that you get from buying a copy of Windows from a retail Computer Shop, or the Microsoft Store.
  • The buyer owns the License Key or the Product Key that comes with this kind of purchase. These keys are transferable to other hardware because in this case the user has full control over his key unlike an OEM license.
  • Windows Pro is the most popular version in this segment.

3. Volume

  • You get this type of License when you buy Windows license for installing on multiple computers. The Volume license lets the user use the same key to activate all of the machines. So, the prime market for this kind of License is Organisations because they have multiple computers for their employees or clients.
  • These keys cannot be resold. The price, quantity, and other details are finalised by the issuing company.
  • Some of the common examples are Government Organizations, Private Companies, Universities and Colleges, etc. Windows Enterprise comes with Volume License Key (VLK).


How to determine if your Windows License is OEM, Retail or Volume?

How to determine if your Windows License is OEM, Retail or Volume?