Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:47 PM
You cannot buy standalone OEM software legally. They come with hardware. However, Outletdeal and similar places legally sell it by including the hardware it's bundled with. In other words, they are advertising the software but what you get is the software AND the hardware it comes with. For example, Roxio is often bundled with CD/DVD drives. You buy Roxio OEM, you get a qualifying drive that it ships with. So yes, this is legal as long as they are shipping everything as the package it is licensed for.
Another thing with OEM is that the software is only supported by the vendor, not the software company. Outletdeal offers installation support as is required. I have no experience with them so I don't know anything about the quality or extent of the support.
Some OEM software does not qualify for an standard upgrade path. This can vary depending on the software, and full versions are usually upgradeable. Outletdeal states that their OEM offerings are upgradeable but I have no way to verify this or find out what, if any, stipulations there are.
If you qualify for an academic version of software, you will be asked to provide proof that you are a student or an authorized representative of an educational institution in order to purchase it. Usually this is either a purchase order from the school, a student or faculty ID or something similar. As long as you meet all the requirements of the academic licensing, then you are entitled to full support, etc.
Hope this helps.