Software piracy is an issue that affects not only the developers but also the end-user. The prices of Microsoft products may seem to be on the high side, but paying less for pirated licenses can cost you much more than your money. You risk paying money and receiving activation keys that don’t work or products that introduce malware into your system.
Precautions to take when buying Windows & Office licenses
Read this post before buying Windows and Office licenses. In this post, we’ll treat the following topics:
- Red flags to look out for when purchasing Windows and Office licenses.
- The right way to get Windows and Office licenses.
1] Red flags to look out for when purchasing Windows and Office licenses
1. Sketchy pricing
When you find Windows and Office licenses with prices that are too good to be true, they probably aren’t true. No matter how tempting it may be to purchase super cheap licenses, it may not be worth it in the end.
This is because Microsoft solely produces its software, and products in the IT industry have low marketing margins. Would you purchase an Office product and sell it for way less than you got it? You’d probably not!
If you go ahead and purchase these cheap licenses off the internet, the chances are that you’ll get nothing or one that’s used already or stolen.
2. Fake products
Microsoft always has clear pricing for its products. In the bid to con you of your money, fraudsters usually advertise software with bogus descriptions or pricing. Look out for the following before purchasing product licenses from third-party sellers.
This post will show you how to validate Windows 10 product key?
- Early Windows editions:
Microsoft no longer sells licenses for older Windows versions, such as Windows 7, 8, or even Windows 8.1. This means that anyone who wants to sell you licenses for these products probably wants to defraud you.
- Early Microsoft Office versions:
If you purchase a Microsoft Office 2019 license from a third-party retailer, you may not get software updates when they roll out. This is because there are no licenses for Office 2013, 2016, etc., available.
- One-time purchase of Microsoft 365 license:
Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) has annual and monthly subscription plans. This suite has no lifetime subscription package, and so any such offers you see are not real.
3. Technicians who upgrade or downgrade your Windows version
Microsoft licenses are specific to their assigned Windows editions. You may send your PC to a technician to reinstall or repair your Windows system, but they return the machine with a newer or older operating system version.
They may claim that the upgrade or downgrade will improve your system’s performance. But the truth is that your license will become invalid.
Microsoft never pushes free upgrades, except you’re updating from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Even that ended way back on July 29, 2016.
2] The right way to get Windows and Office licenses
Having explored some of the red flags to look out for when purchasing Microsoft and Office product licenses, let’s look at the correct methods of obtaining these licenses. They include the following:
- Purchase the product from the Microsoft website directly. The license will be linked to your Microsoft account, so you have nothing to worry about.
- Buy the boxed produce (FPP). You can find the license key in a folder of the product. Windows operating system software boxes also come with a USB disk for easy installation and activation.
- If you like Amazon, make sure you buy from the official Microsoft on Amazon account only.
- Purchase products from a physical store and activate the products using a license card. The activation code is often concealed; so, you’d have to reveal it to activate your product.
- You may also use the activation key of an electronic license (ESD).
You might want to read our detailed post on how to buy Windows 11/10 with a valid or legit license key.
When you obtain your Windows and Office products with the above methods, you’ll get a separate activation key for the product. On installing or running the application, you’ll be asked for the activation key. Simply input what you have to activate the product.