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Buying Pirated Software and Windows 7 Activation Issues

Updated on May 17, 2011

The old saying, "there are two sides to every coin", covers the usual debate about buying hacked or pirated software copies of your favorite programs or Windows operating systems, like Windows 7.

The arguments that are against the practice of buying such software are that it is against the law, eastern European hackers will steal your credit card information and your money, the software will not work correctly and is not the full version, and basically, it is akin to stealing something because the company that made it does not make money from it.

The first and last reasons are a fact and true. The reasons in-between generally are NOT. Millions of people buy pirated versions everyday from obscure odd websites, usually, a credit card is used and it goes through an intermediary bank so the seller does not obtain your credit card info (the seller and bank are usually not in the USA). Then, a link is sent to you and you download the software in zip file or other format, depending on the size. You may have to also create a CD to install the software once unzipped or image is downloaded. It complicates matters if you are not familiar with the process.

The website,, always has software that the sellers says is legitimate.For instance, prices for WIndows 7 range from $30-50 and comes with a product key. But is it? The price indicates it is not and comments from previous buyers state that while the OS worked perfectly fine for 30 days, some noted that their activation failed, meaning the product key given did not match the machine or software.

What happens when WIndows 7 fails activation? Not much. The most notable thing is that your desktop image is black, not bad per se. The only other things are Windows Updates no longer update the OS or Security Essentials and a small message appears at the bottom of the right hand corner indicating the Windows OS is not genuine. Some reports indicate that your computer may turn off after being on two hours, but all you need to do is restart it. If you have third party virus and malware protection, no need to be concerned.

The other side of the pirated software also have valid arguments, depending on one's point of view. Microsoft offers incredible discounts for buying Win 7 for $30 IF you are a student, which is discriminatory. If they can afford to offer it at that price to millions of students, then why charge non-students $200 or so, depending on the version? This alone, weakens their argument about being robbed of proceeds. Their losses from piracy are inflated, is another argument. Is there a third party that confirms that what they claim as lost revenue is real, or do we just think whatever they say is true? Yet, another argument is, if the companies are so concerned about it, why do websites like, ioffer, continue to sell them? Even Ebay offers software that may be pirated. Still, another reason stated is that, whatever the true losses are for piracy, all companies that suffer use it as a tax write off, so in effect, they suffer little from it at the end of the year.

How do you feel? 


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      Bill P 4 years ago

      Easy answer. Students aren't making money with it. $100-$200 for an essential tool for professionals seems more than reasonable. My theory is that if your business relies on software for your everyday productivity, that software is worth a lot of money to the company. Try paying $800+/month on Adobe software for your employees, and then complain about Microsofts prices to me!

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      well, what angers me is that one can buy Win 7 for around $30-40 if you are student. Why?

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      Rob 6 years ago

      Microsoft deserves to be paid for their work but not at the prices they sell it for now. There should be affordable options even for people in 3rd world countries . Maybe a sliding scale fee and free to people who make very little per month like 20 dollars a month . Linux should be pushed as an option especially for people who only use web and email and listen to mp3's