The vendor is the original provider/manufacturer of the product or service. It is the last entity in the chain that brands a product and sells it directly to end users or through a channel, like Microsoft for example. A vendor may design and manufacture its own products, assemble complete systems from components produced by others, or procure products from original equipment or a contract manufacturer.

In the industry, we also often use a similar term - ISV (independent software vendor). An ISV makes and sells software products that run on one or more computer hardware or operating system (OS) platforms. ISVs typically provide software in conjunction with a hardware, software, or cloud platform provider. In the case of hardware, a software producer builds software to run on a particular vendor or vendors' hardware platform, and the OSes the platform supports.