I became a victim of software scam when I bought Windows 7 on ebay. (see this question for details). I called Microsoft customer care for the same. I learned that though I have activated the software and run Microsoft Genuine Check successfully, the software was not still genuine.

So, how can I check if any Microsoft product is genuine or not?

  • 2
    you should frame it as a question and post an answer.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Jul 4 '11 at 8:02
  • @Sathya, you mean I should answer my own question?
    – matrix
    Jul 4 '11 at 8:13
  • 1
    Yes I think that's what Sathya means! It's a Q&A site after all :)
    – Vervious
    Jul 4 '11 at 8:16
  • 4
    It's not allowing me to answer my own question because of less reputation. I have to wait until 7 more hours before I can answer my question. I have updated the question. Will answer once allowed.
    – matrix
    Jul 4 '11 at 8:21
  • @devcoder yes as @nano mentioned please do post your answer. You should be able to accept it as well
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Jul 4 '11 at 8:41

I called Microsoft customer care for the same. I learned a lot from my conversation with customer care executive. The summary of the same is mentioned below-

  1. Do not buy software online. Microsoft does not provide any guarantee on the products bought online. Always buy it from authorized reseller.

  2. Before you open the pack, look for the product code. It is on the seal of CD Cover and starts with X15. Call Microsoft customer care and check the genuineness of the product with them.

  3. Open the CD in front of the reseller. Get the product key (this is different from product number) and check with Microsoft customer care executive. If they say that the product is genuine, buy it.

  4. If the reseller does not allow you to open the CD pack before paying for it, don't buy it. If the product is genuine and he trusts you that you will pay, he will allow you to open the CD pack.


Devcoder, You really can't, especially if you buy it on-line. Only when you get it home could you run the "Microsoft Genuine" tools, but not all vendors have similar programs and tools. Counterfeit packaging has gotten so sophisticated, you probably can't even look at it and tell, only the manufacturer can. I bought razor blades, and they were fakes, but you could not tell by looking (I could tell because they did not last as long).

The best way to protect yourself is to buy software from major retailers, either locally, or on-line. If you have a problem, they will stand behind you, although that is unlikely to happen in the first place.

Another thing to go by: The prices on software almost seem like there is price fixing going on behind the scenes, so if your price is WAY off what other major retailers are selling it for, it is probably bogus. Keep in mind, there are student versions of many softwares, which are much cheaper, but make sure you really meet the license requirements. That said, a really good place to buy software is Dell. I have found that although there is not a lot of room to play with the price, they are often lower...at least somewhat.

I do stay away from eBay though, which is ironic since I will be selling some software there soon (yes it is genuine though).



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