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  1. #1
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    johnnyFIVE's Avatar
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    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    thought this was interesting. my company sells used computers, and obviously many of them come with a windows XP coa. typically windows is installed on them and they are sold as used systems with legit operating systems from the COA and it is only being used on that system.

    I dont know how well you track the industry I am in or if you know about it at all, but this is a big thing people in my industry do. Businesses that have been around for years and years. Even in export when we sell a few hundred machines we leave the COA on the machine but dont install anything. Just sell them as XXX qty machines with XP Pro COA and a wiped hard drive.

    to the problem.

    just this week we received a notice from microsoft that in summary says what we are doing is illegal. In the store we cant sell machines with OS installed unless we include the software disc that originally came with the dell for example with the coa on the machine. that counters what every used computer store has been doing for years. furthermore, selling machines in bulk with no install it is also apparently illegal if we do not pull the COA off of the machine. So I have to sell machines in qty with the COA pulled or I am breaking the law.

    Ive never heard of this before and I called some companies larger than us, some that are many millions of dollars larger than us, and they have still been selling machines with XP COAs and have never heard of this. its odd we would be singled out.

    also, I found it funny that this came in the week after Apple surpassing microsoft or whatever.

    Perhaps they should spend money on more innovation or something else rather than chasing down a 10 year old operating system. just my theory.

  2. #2
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    Dragonhunter's Avatar
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    Interesting....what's a coa?
    Dragonhunter

  3. #3
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    neonmac's Avatar
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    Shame MS would try this. Hopefully with Apple sales way up and now google getting rid of MS systems, there may be hope that MS will someday roll over and die. Hope this gets resolved.
    The only thing Microsoft could make that would not suck, would be a vacum.

    www.obsessivemacdisorder.com

  4. #4
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhunter View Post
    Interesting....what's a coa?
    CoA = Certificate of Authority. In the case of MS - it's a little sticker that's supposed to be put on the side of any computer that has MS windows installed - it's the license key that's associated with that install (a long set of numbers and/or letters that is keyed in at time of install on non-slipstreamed versions of the OS) - and with OEM systems, it's the key that's related to an install that's usually bios locked to the given system it's installed on.

    Which also makes it an interesting issue as usually a Dell key can't be used on any other machine other then a Dell, and in theory, the key is supposed to follow the machine so I'm not sure why M$ is being a pain about it.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)

  5. #5
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....

    Member Since
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    Sounds like something to turn over to your lawyer.

    You do have one, right?

  6. #6
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    Eric559's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhunter View Post
    Interesting....what's a coa?
    Certificate of Authenticity.
    Member Of The Month for December '08.
    It's only the internet!

  7. #7
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....

    Member Since
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    Frankly I would toss the letter and keep doing what I was doing. The license that spells out what you can an cannot do with the windows software was accepted by the original purchaser of the software.... or by the original purchaser of the hardware. You are a secondary owner of the software and guess what, you never were provided the terms of the license as the original owner was.

    You purchased the computers used as is and with the understanding that they had legal and transferable operating systems on them. It isn't your responsibility to determine what software is or is not legal on those machines... Bill Gates would love it if people had to buy new versions of Windows everytime they bought a machine new or used.

    If Microsoft wants to go after anyone it would need to be the original owner that accepted the terms of the license agreement and then broke them by selling the machine without the original disks...

    Fact is a lot of machines sold now from the factory don't have disks with them at all as the manufacturers put the recovery disks on the hard drive.... there is a very good chance that a lot of the computers you are selling have never even had the restore disks on the hard drives burned to CDs as it is such a pain that lots of people don't bother.... It isn't like Apples where they give you the OS disk as an actual disk. Come to think of it the last two windows machines I bought had the restore disks on the hard drive not as an actual disk.

  8. #8
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....

    Member Since
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    Angry Uhg!! Bring back Bill Gates!
    I can't believe this! I am a big time PC user and I repair Windows based computers all of the time! I do have to switch over to MAC soon because of reasons I'm not going to get into here but...

    You are right! Many manufacturers are not even shipping original OS software discs anymore. Once the OS is activated on that machine it is totally bound to that machine regardless of who owns the machine!!!

    It really is the only thing of value with PC's. That little COA is the most expensive part of an old computer that is getting surplused from a big company. No one is going to go invest in another license at $150-$250 for an old PC when you can go buy a brand spankin new PC for just a little more.

    I think the only thing that will come of this is more electronic crap in the landfill and more people switching to MACs.

    This kind of angers me! GRRRRRR....

  9. #9
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    johnnyFIVE's Avatar
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    Well my company exports/sells unusable machines as scrap so any PCs we receive will never ever end up in a landfill. None of the electronics we receive will ever end up in a landfill. One of the reasons why you'd want to work with a company like mine through your business or personal use.

    In regards to tossing the letter jail time and hefty fees were threatened. My boss took it to our lawyer and he advised him that ignoring this is not the way to go. We are currently waiting for a response from Microsoft but I will let you know how it goes when I get it back.

    Right now dells and apples are the only machines I can sell because Dell discs are the only restore discs that I have. In addition to my collection of Apple restore discs.

    My HPs and MPCs are just kind of hanging out until I either purchase restore discs or sell them with Linux or something or without COA. Typically you can get restore discs pretty cheap, especially since I don't need a serial since its on the machine. However now when I sell 100+ machines I have to include the stupid discs which is a margin cutter which kinda sucks.

  10. #10
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Do let us know what you find out. I too am perplexed by their complaint here. If you're using the product ID on a valid CoA that accompanied the machine originally and the OS installation matches that type, I can't see their argument. They made their money off the OEM already, why should they care if the disc is included. Quite frankly, in most cases, the discs never even existed as most OEMs include a recovery partition.

    This smacks of extortion to me. They do have special licensing programs for recyclers and my guess is that they just want a pound of flesh.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  11. #11
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    johnnyFIVE's Avatar
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    Yah. We have been stumped as well. Especially since this is such a staple of our industry. Us and most of my competitors aren't bob selling on craigs list from his garage living in an illegal or gray area of the law. For the volume we do we have to stay 100% legal.

  12. #12
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....

    Member Since
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    I'm sorry but I think your lawyer is an idiot. You don't get jail time to breaking a contractual agreement, which is what a software license is... it would be a civil matter and all that one could hope to get from the other would be monetary damages. IF you were making illegal copies of software, then that could be a criminal matter, but what you'e described is at best a civil matter.

    In my past I wrote license agreements for some software companies and even then the companies knew upfront that everything was more of a thing to make people that are generally honest do the right thing. There was never any expectation that it would be worth it to chase anyone down unless it was found that they were installing the software on multiple machines.

    If it were me I would toss the letter and continue business as usual.

  13. #13
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nethfel View Post
    CoA = Certificate of Authority. In the case of MS - it's a little sticker that's supposed to be put on the side of any computer that has MS windows installed - it's the license key that's associated with that install (a long set of numbers and/or letters that is keyed in at time of install on non-slipstreamed versions of the OS) - and with OEM systems, it's the key that's related to an install that's usually bios locked to the given system it's installed on.

    Which also makes it an interesting issue as usually a Dell key can't be used on any other machine other then a Dell, and in theory, the key is supposed to follow the machine so I'm not sure why M$ is being a pain about it.
    I totally agree. I have a friend who works for MS in a big position and he told me the same thing many times.

    That COA is the Key Tied to that machine just like Nethfel said.

  14. #14
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric559 View Post
    Certificate of Authenticity.
    Oops haha, you're right - I was dealing with a couple of different things at the time I was posting and I flipped the words of two different things - I had to send a corrected email too roflmao.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)

  15. #15
    so microsoft wants my companies blood....
    XJ-linux's Avatar
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    I don't know much, but I have been told "Don't post anything online that you don't want read in court." That said, you might wish to examine what you post about your situation lest the weasels, I mean lawyers smell it and charge you $1000 a word to debate it in count. Just a thought.
    Never judge a man, untill you have walked a mile in his shoes...
    That way you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

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