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Cheap Software

By sidvail ·
Is discount OEM software legal? You know, the stuff from Russia and eastern europe?

We are getting ready to build about 30 new machines for our company and will need operating systems. My boss, wanting to save money, asked about buying the software from one of those places you get email spam from. Todays email was a company that claims legal OEM versions at a 1/10th of the price of retail.

Personally, I have bought a copy of Quicken through a discount house out of Czechoslovakia - and it worked out fine. It was a real disk with real CD Key. I registered it and have had no problems. I'm still unsure though of it's legallity.

And the place my boss is looking at doesn't even look that good. You have to download it and are provided a CD key through email.

I just feel like this is wrong for some reason. But not quite sure.

Any ideas or advice?

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Is Johnn REALLY that .......?

by sidvail In reply to Is "sidvail" REALLY that ...

There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.

Are you trying to scare people away from asking questions they really want an answer to? Sorry you're such an ......

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OEM Licensing Rules

by NDYNAMICS In reply to Cheap Software

Check any Microsoft OEM license agreement. The license is only valid with the hardware that was purchased at the same time as the OEM license (and they both have to come from the same vendor). If that hardware ever dies, the license dies with it. It is not transferrable to another PC, even one that REPLACES the originally licensed PC.

So, if you are going to pirate software anyway by buying OEM copies that aren't legit, why pay for pirated copies at all?

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In Europe and Russia, Copyright laws differ

by jdii1215 In reply to Cheap Software

Well, first, in the case of Microsoft you are talking about a US company, and for this reply I am going to assume that you want XP Pro SP2 on your new computers. What I would do, if you folks are building the computers in-house, is to in essence declare yourselves (the builders themselves or a small department within the company) Microsoft OEMs and register as same. In point of fact, you then CAN buy OEM software legitimately from the majors.Current legit OEM price for a thrity pack of XP Pro is in the competitive range of about $3800 shipped for thirty unit packages (likely to be SP1, add about $200 to the thirty pack price for SP2), and I have seen OEM singles and three-packs for about $135.00 shipped each.I get these things shipped ground, normally-- so air will amek your milage vary from mine.

There are three problems with buying XP from overseas. First, you cannot be really assured of getting keys that Microsoft issued.

Second, enforcing the bad ship will be not done under US law, it will be done under the country's law where the company actually is located. And court action will happen in that country.Second, the precise version will be up to the company selling the product-- soem of those who are selling legit copies of XP, with legit COAs.Microsoft says if a COA is not physically tendered it is NOT licenseable unless you get a site license from the channels that Microsoft allows for in its licensing and policy enforcement, so for a download plus key in email for an OS from Microsoft or any Microsoft product, this would be defacto OUTSIDE the licensing policies and the contract law Microsoft uses to enforce the licensing. For AP, key alone is not enough, unless you are registered with Microsoft as a site license or bulk licensing distributor, and that mostly applies NOT to SP2 and rather to 2000 and earlier as the licening contracts for older operating systems of Windows kinds were somewhat less stringent.

Third, let's say you get a Windows pack from Bulgaria and it comes in not as SP2, not even as SP1a, but as XP Original. There are several gotchas in this one: language settings and installer might be in an eastern European language or Cyrrilic (Russian alphabet, roughly); the time per computer to upgrade 30 boxes will either eat a TON of network bandwidth and IT time, or you will need to apply SP1A and security packs and then SP2 to each box from legit archives of those things-- that alone will take more time in IT pay than the buying of SP2 pre-canned would take up in paying a legit price for same XP with SP2 preintegrated onto CD (those CDs ARE shipping); you will get to go back to the Bulgarian company for tech support for the most part-- self-OEMs do not get install support from folks who buy OS and ARE NOT themselves Registered OEMS, for XP SP1a and SP2, and if the COAs are not in print and you are challanged contractually in court, you get big fines given the DMCA in US and Microsoft's aggressive stance in US.

There's somthing worse that could happen-- what you get might not even be XP as your boss knows it-- there is a new version of XP being offered int eh Far East, Thailand, parts of India, etc, which is being sold as a cut-down-feature XP whihc is intended to be used only in country Microsoft sells it in-- and lots of the things a business needs are simply not in that regional subversion.

Get it shipped in, one COA per box, or buy a site license if all boxes will be in one place. qualifying to buy a site license can be complex, and you will need an attorney involved in the eval. I'd buy a thirty-pack if you are really buying enough hardware for new boxes, and if you want to really dot all I's and cross all T's then you buy lots of your hardware from same place you buy the OS pack from.

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Beaware of Product Keys from Cheap Places

by dxkong In reply to Cheap Software

I know someone bought Nero software and bought a product key from eBay. Can't remember exactly the story, but either the key expired or had only days left.

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by Choppit In reply to Beaware of Product Keys f ...

So they paid twice for the privilege of owning a Nero coaster? ;o)

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Fire your incompetent boss

by Dave's not here In reply to Cheap Software

Your "boss" is cheap, clueless, and incompetent -- and those are his good points. Your fearless leader not only reads his spam, but would actually consider sending money to a spammer.

This guy's a real bargain -- not only would he violate copyright law, placing his organization at risk, but he would pay a spammer for the priviledge. All to save a buck. A real winner.

Maybe the cheap Viagra and manhood enhancement technology worked out for him.

Employers have a right to expect that their employees are productive and ethical and earn their pay. Employees (that would include you) have a right to expect competent, ethical management that is deserving of loyalty. Your boss is not holding up his end of the bargain. Terminate him.

But enough about your boss -- let's talk about you -- that you would choose to continue to work for a proven fraud is questionable. Perhaps you have some personal situation that locks you into such a dysfunctional organization, but more likely you have a choice -- you can remain an inmate of the asylum or walk. Better yet, tell your boss to knock off the stupid pills, give you a $10,000 raise (he's probably paying you jack) and don't EVER make such a idiot suggestion again, or you'll go over his head to his boss -- and if you hear one peep of retaliation from either of them, it's BSA-City, baby.

To your question -- you are "not quite sure" about this. The proposed vendor doesn't "look that good". No kidding! The return e-mail address is no good. The domain is spoofed. There is no physical address, no phone number. You get dozens of almost identical spams every month, altered slightly to get through the filters. You can buy for 10 cents on the dollar. What are you "not quite sure" about? Can you possibly be this clueless?

Boy, this is really confusing, really tough to figure out -- it sounds like a total scam and rip-off, but hey, maybe you can save $1.98 for all the hours of work and risk you will take.

Of course, you could just call the BSA at 202.872.5500 (took me 2 seconds on Google to get the number) and ask them about this. Or read their article entitled "Software Watchdog Issues Consumer Alert: Beware of Software Offered Via Email Spams -- Most Email Spams Trace Back to Organized Pirate Groups in Eastern Europe". This non-dilemma can be resolved in 60 seconds, assuming you really want to the know the answer.

Here's what I'm "not quite sure" about -- is it really your "boss" that has this brilliant idea? If so, I have a "friend" that would like to buy some cheap Viagra from him.

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by sidvail In reply to Fire your incompetent bos ...

Thanks Dave,

That did me good. And yes, I agree - it should not have been asked in the first place. But the boss asks you to check on something and you check on it.

I'm now trying to talk him out of purchasing 30 E Machines for workstations. Wish me luck. :)

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E Machines -- Good luck

by Dave's not here In reply to ROFL

Let me guess -- he likes E Machines because they're .... cheap? I'm thinking this guy is not a recognized leader in his industry.

In response to the next question he will ask you -- Yes, it is illegal for you to break into an office at night and "borrow" these machines from another company.

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In defense of E Machines

by AcesKaraoke In reply to E Machines -- Good luck

Yes they are inexpensive, and that's a bad thing?

I am currently writing to you on my 2nd E machine, yes, not only did I buy one, I liked it so well I bought another one later. I have had no trouble with upgrading or the day to day use of said E Machines, which is more than I can say of other big name pre-built machines I've had the misfortune of working with or on.

All things considered, I would most strongly recommend building one from scratch, but if you want Windows XP for it's functionality with so much of the software and hardware out there, it's hard to beat the bottom line of buying a PC that's already got it installed.

I would, especially for the price, not hesitate to recommend an E Machine to a friend or family member on a budget.

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relative value

by apotheon In reply to In defense of E Machines

For the money, there's nothing wrong with buying one, in terms of the value gained for the investment. Of course, that's only true if you assume that only a preconstructed, low-price system is necessary. The moment you want either high-end quality or are willing to have one custom made (or build it yourself), it's suddenly not a good option any longer.

There are better companies to go to than any of the major vendors, no matter where on the scale of system quality the major vendors are. Smaller operations, such as Nobilis/Equus, provide far better quality for the price. Better yet, when you don't have to make large orders, is to build them a piece at a time yourself.

For my part, I'd avoid E-Machines, Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway, and even IBM desktops, even if price is no object. Give me a shop that doesn't show up in the papers every day, does made-to-spec orders, and provides good work for reasonable prices any day of the week, if I'm not willing to do it all myself on a given project.

As for my own computers, they're all put together by yours truly, one part at a time (with the exception of a couple of hand-me-down systems I use for testing and very low-priority purposes). I won't settle for less.

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