Unfortunately, not all license offers that appear on the internet are legitimate, and sometimes those who buy them are deceived, losing their money, and not getting the product they were trying to buy. Not all online stores are reliable. Not all technicians who repair equipment do their job honestly.
You need to be alert if you do not want to lose your money thinking that you are making a good investment.
WARNING / ALERT SIGNS.
VERY LOW PRICES.
Windows and Office licenses often appear with prices much lower than those practiced by Microsoft. It’s tempting to buy a Windows or Office for an exceptionally low price, but keep in mind that Microsoft is the producer of those software’s. Marketing margins in the IT business are relatively low, it’s not possible for someone to sell software products at prices much lower than those practiced by Microsoft. No one would buy a product from Microsoft and sell it to you cheaper than that bought! Many of these licenses have already been used, are stolen or even worse, you pay and you do not receive any license.
Products that do not exist.
We often see products for sale with descriptions that mislead the buyer. Some examples are: Office 365 lifetime, Office 365 2019. None of these descriptions correspond to a real product. For clarification:
- Windows: One-time purchase. The only licenses for sale now are Windows 10 licenses all previous versions of Windows are not available, nor there are higher versions of Windows. If you are offered the chance to purchase a Windows 7, 8, 8.1 license, you are being cheated.
- Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365): Annual subscription, it can be paid monthly or annually. There is no version of 365 that is lifelong, (paid only once). Anyone who chooses this model will be entitled to updates for as long as they keep the Office subscription active.
- Office 2019: One-time purchase. You will not receive updates with new features or new versions. There are no licenses for previous versions of Office for sale (2016, 2013, etc.), if you are offered an earlier version, you are being cheated.
THE TECHNICIAN WHO IMPROVES YOUR SYSTEM WITH A DIFFERENT VERSION OF WINDOWS
Many users report having sent their equipment to repair or simply to reinstall the operating system are received it with a newer or different version of Windows. If you have not purchased a new Windows license, your equipment must to be returned to you with the same version it had before sending it to the technician, because that is the only version for which you have a legally valid license.
One of the typical responses of some technicians and repair shops who have these bad practices is that they have upgraded your operating system to another version of Windows that makes you equipment work better.
There have never been free updates for Microsoft operating systems except for the possibility of upgrading from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. This offer was active during the first year of Windows 10's life and ended
on July 29, 2016.
THE PURCHASE PROCESS.
Both Office and Windows can be purchased in different ways:
- Directly from Microsoft: The licenses you purchase are directly associated to your Microsoft account.
- Boxed product (FPP): The boxed product always comes with an activation key. In the case of Windows, it will also come with a USB PenDrive with the software for installing Windows.
- License Card: Often available in physical stores, these cards have an area on the back where the software activation key is located. This area is covered, to reveal the key you must, after purchase, carefully scratch this area.
- Electronic Licenses (ESD): After purchasing one of these licenses, either in an online or physical store, you must receive the activation key for the product you purchased.
If the purchase process takes any other form, something is certainly very wrong.
HOW TO GET ADVICE.
There are several things you can do to be informed, here are some tips:
- Whenever possible, buy directly from Microsoft. Microsoft is the producer of Windows and Office, buying from Microsoft is of course, always be absolutely safe;
- Do an online search and see what experience other users had when buying from the store / site you are considering;
- Ask here in the community, we will be happy to help and advice.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM.
If you have been the victim of an act of piracy, the sale of an illegal license, or a scam by a technician, you must report this situation. Failing to do so will allow those who have these practises to continue cheating other people and profit from it. It is important that the people and companies that commit these crimes are stopped.
- Each country has authorities to which you can report an act of piracy, do it!
- Microsoft also provides ways to report these situations:
The best way to end software piracy is to ensure that whoever commits these crimes suffers the consequences. For the good of all of us, please report!