Win OS ethical download


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It seems that one can buy Windows OS from Microsoft; buy key/code or whatever its called which I gather are from entities which have bought some sort of licence for unlimited devices and are selling the code/key which allows for installation and updates or download for free from Microsoft but missing some attributes (not sure which; apparently Microsoft sends an invoice at some point but don't delete it either way. The only comment I've found from (supposedly) Microsoft is that its better to buy from them i.e. no denunciation of other sources - so it all seems rather unclear although probably similar to someone buying a CD and copying it and selling copies; not legal but not easily stopped unless they are a major distributor. I don't dislike Mac OS sufficiently to buy Windows from MS so its a "live" issue.
 
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As I understand it, Microsoft issue volume keys (for multiple devices) to businesses so that they can buy a single license to cover all PCs in their company. AFAIK these are a) not available for resale and b) can only be used on PCs owned by the same entity. It's thus my belief that people selling keys that were issued as volume licenses are doing so illegally - though I'm happy to be corrected on that. :)

Microsoft don't do key deals for the general public beyond those for educational purposes. It is thus my belief that any other cheap keys that you are able to buy online are (at least technically) illegal. I am certain that Microsoft continue to try and detect the use of these 'illegal' keys, though I don't know for sure what action they might take if they detect one in use (beyond preventing updates of course) and I always advise against their use.
 
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One thing I read about some time ago was that publishers of software can limit functions when the Trial period or Shareware expires or illegal installations are found. How they found out was not revealed.
 

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