For customers, the situation is more than unsatisfactory: they get an unclear original key and most likely not a legal copy of the program. However, Windows makes no effort to complain immediately and the search process at Microsoft takes time and is associated with effort. Great, always gladly, the key works immediately and after checking that it is even the commercial version 😉 Absolutely legal in Germany System Builder or OEM versions of Windows are sold by Microsoft through authorized intermediaries to system manufacturers. These are manufacturers or retailers that sell PCs that come preconfigured with Windows preinstalled. However, the license agreement may state that support is provided through and not by Microsoft. We would have liked to ask all merchants via eBay if they have an original invoice, if they know what form of license it is and how to ensure that the license is no longer used. Unfortunately, eBay removed three out of five listings a week later and had only one rating: „We had to remove this listing from the site. You do not need to complete the transaction. Only the underlieha-2 provider replied in English: „I can assure you that the key is genuine. If there was something wrong, you wouldn`t be able to activate your operating system in the first place. His interpretation: As long as the key works, resale is legal.
If you buy via links in our articles, we receive a small commission. This has no influence on our editorial independence or on the purchase price. However, one detail emerges from the offers: in all offer descriptions, only the „keys” and „keys” are mentioned. The term „license” is avoided. The highandtech supplier pushes it to the extreme. Ironically, he uses the word „license” in the title. At the very end, after the remarks on the CJEU ruling, which, by the way, were taken up by UsedSoft and marked with „Source: UsedSoft”, are the decisive sentences: „We would like to emphasize that you only buy the product key and no license. Legal use of the product key requires that you already have a valid license from Microsoft for the product. In this case, you can unlock with the product key. Thus, the dealer admits in small print: you buy a worthless key, not the right to use the software. We asked the dealer how a separation of key and license was possible and why the title referred to a license. The answer: „There is a mistake.
The title was simply copied from another provider. Not a word about separation. In fact, a key is always linked to a license. On the one hand, support is questionable if you run into problems and Windows later asks for activation again because the license is no longer valid. On the other hand, the codes could also be sold illegally and trade could be exposed. This would be conceivable, for example, when purchasing licenses via a stolen credit card for later distribution. Then Microsoft could lock the keys sold and you`d be back at first, the few dollars you`ll probably never see again without further use. Microsoft doesn`t sell Windows 11 directly yet.
With its predecessor, however, there is usually a free upgrade for compatible computers. In the US, at least, Microsoft has already started selling Windows 11 Home for $139 and Windows 11 Pro for $199.99 in download. When buying, pay close attention to the product description and, ideally, only buy when you have buyer protection and there are reviews. Amazon and eBay often have very cheap keys to Windows 10 Pro. If you want to enjoy this high-quality operating system without incurring high expenses, you can buy Windows 10 Pro from Lizenzguru. Since we purchase excess software licenses from wholesalers and distributors, we receive them on excellent terms. As a customer, you also benefit from this buying strategy, as you can get the license for Windows 10 Pro from Lizenzguru at unbeatable prices. Many users who are about to buy Windows 10 or 11 can look directly at Microsoft first. You probably clicked on a banner in a Windows window because the operating system requires activation. Then these users would end up in the Microsoft Store, which calls as recommended retail price (RRP) for Windows 10 Home 145 euros and for Windows 10 Pro 259 euros. For Windows 11, Microsoft refers to stores that sell the operating system with a suitable laptop or PC. The business model of selling Windows keys at dumped prices via trading platforms without being able to provide proof of purchase is therefore not legal.
If a copyright infringement involves commercial activity, it may even be of interest to law enforcement authorities. Otherwise, the author`s civil actions are in any event admissible. Private users who „only” have Windows illegally on their computer do not have to worry about legal problems in practice. However, companies that have the idea of „laying off” Windows for 4 euros may encounter problems. The question remains why Windows doesn`t complain when activating. A single license of Windows 10 Professional currently costs 259 euros in Microsoft`s online store, optionally with a bootable USB stick. The so-called system builder versions of the operating system are much cheaper: they are available for about 130 euros. They are intended for the homes of systems that assemble computers themselves and sell them with a license. These can also be purchased by individuals.
Unlike previous editions of Windows, a copy of Windows 10 from the system builder does not necessarily include a disk. The software can be downloaded from Microsoft. The Home version is even cheaper, but it is less attractive because updates cannot be delayed. If you want to buy used licenses, there is unfortunately no universal trick to recognize legal offers. Common sense can help with selection: Granted, dealers can buy used licenses at low prices and sell them at Microsoft`s unit price – but at prices below $10, the likelihood is low that the business model will be legal. But even higher prices don`t guarantee authenticity.