Prices can be up to 50 times cheaper
Anyone who has tried to buy a Windows key and turned to Microsoft’s official website has had a scare: the Windows 10 Home key sells for no less than R$1,099.00! If you have your eye on the Pro version, you can go for a more impressive price of R$1,599.00! But just expand the search to see a plethora of licenses being sold for fractions of that cost. But… do they work?
We purchased a Windows 10 Pro key from the GoDeal24 website, priced at $11.42 for two licenses, or R$63 with tax, or roughly R$30 per key. Keep in mind, it’s 15 times cheaper than the price on Microsoft’s site, or as a percentage, a 98% discount. Wow.
The appearance of these sites often doesn’t help either, as this extremely generic layout:
So, did it work? The answer is yes. We followed the normal installation process, with the computer connected to the internet throughout. We have already used the key in the initial phase of the installation and it has been accepted.
Most important, of course, is whether the key remained validated. After completing the installation process, we performed the various updates and the system continued to be registered as official. It is something that has remained until now, two months later.
This isn’t the first key we’ve tested. The KeysOFF and VIPkeysale website keys also worked, both with the same generic layout and a slight thump in the air aroma, and surprisingly both worked successfully.
Which brings us to the question: are they legit? We have contacted Microsoft through advice, and the response is that they do not know how to inform the origin of these keys. We’ve tried contacting the sites that sell these keys and haven’t had a response on several of them either, but from one of those sites, GoDeal24, we’ve received a short, straight-forward response that substantiates the lower price: it is an OEM key.
In many cases, what can happen is a deviation in the function of the key, which had another purpose when it was created.
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Windows has different types of keys. Those that are sold legitimately to the end consumer are Retail, which targets our situation: I want to have a system license for a computer. The response we received tells us that the key we acquired has deviated from its original function. OEM keys are sold to computer manufacturers, such as Dell or HP, so that they can market their machines by installing a Microsoft operating system key. The function gap is obvious: we haven’t bought any new machines.
That being so, these sites take advantage of the cheaper price of these keys, which are often sold in large quantities, and then resell them in a modality which, at least by Microsoft, should be marketed in the Retail version. Another point is: this key also has limits. Since it is intended for use in hardware, This means that it can only be activated once., being linked to the first machine installed. A retail key belongs to the consumer and can be freely migrated between machines.
In addition to misuse of Microsoft’s product, there is a more sinister possibility: digital scams. One way to exploit a fraudulent credit card is to buy software keys and resell them, making a profit. This places the consumer in a situation where he acts as the recipient of a theft, in addition to running the risk of having the key deactivated in the future after the cancellation of the fraudulent transaction.
Without getting more information, the proof that remains is that they work
In this certain void of information, there remains the clue to the validity of the different keys that we tested: they work. After activation on the computer, the keys are validated on Microsoft’s own server and, after several updates, it becomes clear that they are legitimate or at least that Microsoft has detected them as such. We had problems with one of them, and after notifying the retailer, shortly after we received a new working key via a very automated message.
Even setting aside the issue of moral dilemmas, that doesn’t mean you should ignore this purchase. Carrying out transactions on the Internet involves precautionsespecially on sites you don’t know. For this we recommend the creation of a virtual card, a very popular service present in most financial institutions and card operators in Brazil. You can therefore create a specific card for this transaction, imposing a limit of movement focused on the purchase value and at the same time preserving your real card from being exposed or exploited by cybercriminals.