“When it is too good to be true, it probably is!”

Many have seen or come across very affordable Microsoft Windows and Office product keys in sites like carousell.com and scdkey.com. These sites offer keys between S$20-30 where by the OEM license available thru Microsoft Partners ranges from S$199 for Home to S$399 for Pro. You are probably thinking these keys must be authentic and legal since they are able to activate the OS. Being a Registered Microsoft Partner for more then 10 years, it is unbelievable that Microsoft will sell their OS at such a low price and we do know that Microsoft do not sell product keys or COA (Certificate of Authenticity).

Why are we able to activate pirated key?

These pirated keys are able to activate the OS because these keys are real and working keys. However, there licensing agreement attached to these keys. Therefore improper distribution and usage of these keys made them “Pirated Keys”. You or anyone that purchased the keys have been cheated by these scammers.

What are the licensing available?

For us, the common folks, here are the 2 types of licensing that are applicable to us.
Full Package Product (FPP) – This is the most costly type of licensing but it is the most flexible. Flexible in a way that the license can be transfer from 1 machine to another. FPP can be purchased at anytime for your existing PC.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) – This license can only be purchased with a new PC or it is usually bundled with the new PC. It is cheaper than FPP, but it is not transferrable. When you throw your PC away, you throw away your license too. For OEM, it always comes with a COA. There are 2 type of COAs, 1 for those that have the product key embed in the UEFI BIOS of the computer. The other is with the product key on it.

The other not so commonly know licensing agreement from Microsoft are those meant for businesses from small to large enterprises
Open Licensing Program – Read More
Enterprise Agreement – Read More

How to Tell

For any software, we purchase the license to use NOT the product key. It is mandatory for all system builders that bundle Windows OS to attached the COA on the chassis of the build. If your build do not comes with the COA and it already has Windows installed then it is time for you to ask some questions! Microsoft has a website that has more information about their licensing, how to tell if it is real license and how to report if you suspect yours is not legal. Read More