Licensing is a confusing process, and there exists many ongoing arguements
about it. Here are some answers reflecting my current understanding of OEM
licensing as applied to Vista:
> We are all aware of the support limitations the OEM software brings, but
> are unsure of the license transfer rights we have. Are we allowed to
> the license from one device to another, as with the retail version, or is
> tied to that device?
Generally no, though it's not hard and fast. Preinstalled OEM versions of
Windows are generally BIOS locked, whereas generic ones are not. Frequently,
you are capable of transferring OEM versions, though the intent of the
license is that you aren't supposed to. This may change with Vista, but no
one knows for sure as the generic OEM versions are not available yet.
> There are other questions too. The OEM version ships with either 32 or 64
> bit versions, and not both like the retail. Is this a limitation of the
> license, or can the product key be used to install a copy of the other
> version if you obtain a copy of the disk?
The product key you purchase should be able to install either version. The
retail disk will only include both disks with Ultimate, others will have an
option to order the 64-bit disk, probably for a small shipping fee. As in
the past, the product keys and retail/OEM disks will not be interchangeable,
your disk must match the type of key.
> Are users allowed to switch between 32 and 64 bit versions as they desire
> (Retail or OEM), so long as only one version is installed?
Yes, regardless of retail/OEM status.
Best of Luck,
Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
Windows help - www.rickrogers.org