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What Does OEM Stand for?

Melissa from MS asks:

What does OEM stand for?

You may have heard the letters OEM before, but what do they have to do with computers? Well, OEM is short for Original Equipment Manufacturer and as a whole, they are basically companies that build certain products that are then sold by another company. Those companies then are usually referred to as Value-Added Resellers (VAR).

For example, the hard drive in your computer may have been built by company A, but they are sold in an actual computer through company B. The OEM companies are usually given design guidelines from the VAR companies and they build the products based on those specific directions. In short, some companies are better at making certain products than others, so the two collaborate to sell a better finished product.

Now, sometimes you won’t know what the OEM company is, because they are not often given recognition on the final result. Yet, on the other hand, the OEM products are sometimes sold by themselves at lower prices. So, if you’re ever looking for one particular part for your computer, you may be able to find it that way.¬†

And now you know!