Out-of-box experience (OOBE) is the experience a consumer (or user) has when preparing to first use a new product. In relation to computing, this includes the setup process of installing and/or performing initial configuration of a piece of hardware or software on a computer. This generally follows the point-of-sale experience or the interaction experience of an expert user.
The out-of-box experience is typically the first impression a product creates, such as the ease with which a buyer can begin using the product. For hardware products, a positive OOBE can be created with logical easy-to-follow instructions and parts that have a low likelihood of failure.
The process of installing Microsoft Windows is a common example for OOBE. While the installation is largely automatic, the user must proceed through multiple screens to acknowledge software license terms, specify partition settings for the hard disk, enter the "product key", select international settings, a time zone, and also configure network settings. After the installation is complete, Microsoft Windows launches the "out-of-box experience" application that presents a full-screen wizard to assist the user with critical first steps of using Windows, such as creating a user account, registering the software with Microsoft (optional), configuring Internet connectivity, and product activation. Although this Microsoft application is named after OOBE, the real OOBE began when the user first turned on a new computer and was taken through the initial setup.
For poor out-of-box experiences, the specific term out-of-box failure (OOBF or OBF) has been coined to describe immediate product failures.