Licenses: Attention where and how you buy ... don't be fooled!

Hi,

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:

  1. Whenever possible, buy directly from Microsoft. Microsoft is the producer of Windows and Office, buying from Microsoft is of course, always be absolutely safe;
  2. Do an online search and see what experience other users had when buying from the store / site you are considering;
  3. 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:

Counterfeit Software Report

Report a technical support scam

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!

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I Am a regular user. A Poweruser, but not working for microsoft.

This is my view on Win 10 and Office 365 (Microsoft 365) licenses and pricing

I agree with Microsoft on the main point. Make VERY sure that you buying a real Microsoft license.

If a Windows 10 license is to cheap to be true, Its not true.

The problem most users has had with Low cost Win 10 licenses is not fake ones.

- There are perfectly legal Win 10 and Office licenses to buy for half the price of what Microsoft store charges.
But they are 32-bit and your microsoft account dont accept those.
And you dont get half the "good" stuff from Win 10 AND office.

The cheapest way to buy Win 10, is from a brand PC. They come with a real Win 10.

And always buy Win 10, HOME.

Pro is only for systemadministrators and not even us are really interested, since powershell has most things anyway.

Pro is NOT better then Home. It only has more features and tools. You can do the same thing on Home if you are powershell savvy.

Office
....Microsoft 365 for personal use is very good if you want to share files. Want to be able to work on documents at the same time, etc.

NONE of these features are any interest to me as a home user. And "share" is not equal to have all files synced and safe! ;(

All real Microsoft 365 includes One-drive, which is the feature office can use automaticly for "backup" files etc.

And Win 10 has an excellent file history "backup".

The "share" feature, is more for project, school, business, or anything where you NEED to work on the same document and cant just pass it wound.

In my view, Microsoft 365 for personal is VASTLY expensive, and that is the reason many looking for cheaper,

THATS IT!

My suggestion is:

In the Microsoft store, You add Microsoft 365 for 1 person. 64-bit ONLY, (Why are you selling Win 10 in 32-bit?
1TB One drive and the whole Office package + all the awesome security.

Remove ALL "share" features. Remove All kinds of ways to work on your files, folder and share anything at all.

I am sure there are users who find "share" useful. But I cant see thats more then 10% of regular users.

The problem is, people do not understand "share". 

If someone wants them, let them by the Microsoft 365 you have now.

Add a new Microsoft 365 for ONE user without the share and sharepoint features. They are NOT needed. 

Price this Microsoft 365 license as you did Office 2010 and onwards. MAX 150 Euro. If you put it in store for 65 EURO, the sales of cheap Offices will drop.

Thanks.

Note: This is a suggestion.

"-I don't agree with what you are saying, but I'll defend to the death, your right to say it"

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Hi Jonas The Swedish Goth

License incorporated on Computers, (OEM) have always been cheaper specially if the manufacturer or integrator buys them in large number. But they have limitations, mostly cannot be moved to a different computer, and cannot be used if you make significant changes on the equipment (motherboard, processor). This is because those changes mark the end of “the useful life” of the computer.

About the issue of people really being cheated in some sites, that is 100% real, unfortunately. It is not the difference 64/32 Bits, it is many times the case that people buy licenses for one product and receive a license for another, or no license at all. That is what motivated the article, a good number of reports of those cases. 

This is more frequent with Office. Many of those sites have use volume licensing and resell the pack of licenses and individual licenses, totally illegal, and a volition of the licensing terms. There are many other tricks, this is just one example.

In some countries these situations happen more frequently, but they happen a bit everywhere.

Windows Pro is a more complete version of Windows, not everyone needs Windows Pro, this will depend on what use you make of your computer. The problems reported happen with Windows Home and Pro.

Some users need 32 bits versions of Windows 10, for a variety of reasons, including the use of software that cannot run on 64 Bits, and some cases hardware that cannot work properly with 64-Bits versions.

Microsoft 365 Personal (formerly Office 365) can be installed in 32 bits machines.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/p/microsoft-365-family/cfq7ttc0k5dm?SilentAuth=1&wa=wsignin1.0&activetab=pivot:requirementstab

If you see the system requirements in the page below you will see the requirements for 32/64 Bits:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-365-and-office-resources?msofficeurl=information&SilentAuth=1&rtc=2#coreui-heading-5dcqxz4

About you price suggestions, I have serious doubts that the people responsible for establishing prices for Microsoft Software products read this forum… maybe you should use User Voice Site or make the suggestion in one of your Office apps.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/how-do-i-give-feedback-on-microsoft-office-2b102d44-b43f-4dd2-9ff4-23cf144cfb11

Se a informação respondeu à sua pergunta, marque a questão como respondida.
If the information answered your question, mark the question as answered.

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Is this a legitimate reseller? vip-scdkey.com

From another post:

I would like to know if this website is reliable and legitimate? https://www.vip-scdkey.com/software/microsoft-pc-10-pro-oem_1227-20.html

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I think No is the straight forward answer. Microsoft is the safest place to purchase a Windows 10 licence. (or any other Microsoft licence for that matter)

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Is this a legitimate reseller? vip-scdkey.com

From another post:

I would like to know if this website is reliable and legitimate? https://www.vip-scdkey.com/software/microsoft-pc-10-pro-oem_1227-20.html

Hi Shinewbie

Honestly i think not... very low price. 

In addition look at the product advertised "Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM CD-KEY GLOBAL"

OEM licenses are only for people who manufacture or integrate equipment. Also they are selling a CD-KEY and keys are not licenses. Keys cannot be sold unless they are associated with a licence.

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Hi neilpzz

Microsoft is the safest place to buy, but no all resellers are bad, some are honest and they are part of Microsoft "ecosystem". 

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If Microsoft is the safest place to buy then why is it that I just bought an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from the Microsoft Store and I can't get it to work? I am trying to upgrade my Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro on my desktop. Every time I try and go to the Microsoft Store to Install it, it appears to be working to install the upgrade to pro but then I get the message failed to install? 

H. E. W.

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Hi Horace Wiggins

Can you point what exact product that is, if possible the link in Microsoft Store?

In addition when you try to install, in what part of the upgrade process do you get that message? 

Microsoft is the safest option, because they make those products, and the lives no question about the products being authentic. In addition Microsoft Support is always available to help with any issue.

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So when you went to the Store you selected Buy below Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Does your purchase show along side your account info under Purchased when you select See more (three dots top right)

Assuming you are signed in with the account you used to buy the Pro licence then Windows 10 Home should start to upgrade. You can try a restart using Start > Power > Restart or disconnect from the internet and enter the generic Windows 10 Pro licence key in Settings > Update and security > Activation > Change product key.

xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

Failing that you will need to contact phone support in your region as this process should work as expected. (I assume your Windows 10 Home install is up to date)

https://support.microsoft.https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4051701/global-customer-service-phone-numbers

* Edited by Moderator: Activation key removed

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and neilpzz

I went to the Microsoft Store to purchase the upgrade to Pro because I wanted to upgrade Windows 10 Home 20H2 to Windows 10 Pro. I paid the $99.00 + tax. The first time I tried I ended up with Windows 10 Enterprise. I don't know how I got that but that is not what I wanted. It would not activate. Said I had the wrong key. I did a system restore back to Windows 10 Home. The image below shows what I get when I try now to get the pro update. When I click on install it appears as downloading. When it hits 100% I get the error Update Failed 0xc004f050.

My purchase does show and I have the receipt. 

H. E. W.

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Last updated February 18, 2021 Views 10,669 Applies to: