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Old 01-27-2018, 09:20 AM
Status: "Anxious" (set 18 days ago)
 
33 posts, read 14,054 times
Reputation: 73

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I just bought a key for Office 2016, the guy sent me one and it failed. The 2nd one he sent worked.... So where do they get their keys from.... it's almost as if they have a key that they use for multiple systems, the first error message said it had basically been used to its limit. This copy is Office Professional.
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:28 AM
 
4,542 posts, read 7,535,065 times
Reputation: 13828
Who knows... could be someone in a Gov office selling the keys that are bought for Gov use, or similarly some other large business. Could be someone who's found/bought/stolen the same and is reselling it (they were Easy to find once upon a time, I haven't looked in nearly 2 decades though). Could be similar with someone who has a Tech-Net subscription, where a subscriber has unlimited "test" keys available to them (this is what I'm on, from my last days in IT ~ I haven't gone past Win 7 and won't, but I have ~10 keys for every product up till May 2009).

They are all less than legitimate in some way or another. Well, maybe not ALL, I'm sure there are a small number of one-time sales that are more legitimate than the rest.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:17 AM
 
7,249 posts, read 5,705,717 times
Reputation: 7963
This is why we don't buy keys from non-reputable sources.

Brian_M covered most of it. Microsoft's home use program is probably a big source of it. It's a super easy route to get very cheap licenses. I think I paid $10 for Office 2016 through the home use program. Many universities also sell office to students for almost nothing, although many seem to have moved to Office 365 subscriptions.

I wouldn't be surprised if the second key you got stops working at some point. The seller is likely selling the same key multiple times. Sometimes they're smart enough to spread it out over time so people don't run into problems until several months down the line.

Last edited by JasonF; 01-27-2018 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,296 posts, read 3,488,040 times
Reputation: 3007
There are 'probably' some legit sellers of MS keys on line, but they are surely in the minority.
I would only buy one if I had some very credible method of refund, and immediately after I installed it I'd go on-line to the MS site and do their process of "Do I have a Legal Copy of the MS product". Basically you ask them if the key is already registered, and if not, are you able to register it (IE: if you have upgrade vs new keys).
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:01 AM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
2,210 posts, read 1,254,116 times
Reputation: 2690
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_RDNC View Post
There are 'probably' some legit sellers of MS keys on line, but they are surely in the minority.
I would only buy one if I had some very credible method of refund, and immediately after I installed it I'd go on-line to the MS site and do their process of "Do I have a Legal Copy of the MS product". Basically you ask them if the key is already registered, and if not, are you able to register it (IE: if you have upgrade vs new keys).
I did this with a win7 os I bought on ebay. Yeppers nagga. Ebay quickly refunded my money, and the seller was kicked off the site.
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,249 posts, read 995,954 times
Reputation: 1274
A lot of keys can be found on used computers. They are either dinosaurs or broken.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,540 posts, read 24,671,425 times
Reputation: 8929
There are numerous websites that use number (key) generators. The seller has a account with them and requests a key. If it fails, they send them another. Google "Microsoft office serial number generator".
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in Colorado
154 posts, read 105,031 times
Reputation: 324
Could also be people selling their MSDN keys. Never thought of it before, but MSDN (that's Microsoft's subscription service for developers - Microsoft Developer Network) comes with a huge volume of keys for all sorts of stuff. The theory is that if you're a developer, you need access to it all. The keys are easily worth many times the price of the subscription.

Of course, it's mostly traceable back to the subscriber and completely illegal, but some of the older product keys are universal.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,296 posts, read 3,488,040 times
Reputation: 3007
Also keep in mind that MS has about as many different types of software licenses as there are stars in the sky.

A lot of their OS and Office licensees were specific to the original installed computer, so you're not (legally) allowed to use those CD Keys in any other machine.
Some Keys will 'phone home' and check with MS to verify their legality, and if they've been pirated, used by many non-legal users, that software then goes into Crippled Mode.

Bottom line, if you want to be legal (and to dodge those hassles of having your OS go into Limp Mode or Word stop saving your files or such), you much check each Key's fine print.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,818 posts, read 13,959,030 times
Reputation: 8055
I steal your credit information. I buy 20 copies of Office 2016. You get your credit fixed. Band refunds charges. I still have 20 copies of Office 2016 that I now sell for $50 each.
Don't buy from these people. Buy from Microsoft or a legit retailer. Spend the money.
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