By Scharon Harding TZ Software If you need Windows for a PC build, Microsoft charges a whopping $ Here's how to get the OS for much less or -- even free. Nov 15, · It's now possible to pick up a full-size or ultraportable Windows 10 notebook with a processor powerful enough for use at home, school, or work, for around $ to Author: Tom Brant. Oct 30, · Microsoft charges $ for a Windows 10 Professional product key. But, with a quick search online, you can find websites promising Windows 10 Pro keys for $12 or even less. That’s a huge savings—but don’t fall for it.
Why Are They So Cheap? Some of these keys just come from other countries where Windows licenses are cheaper. They may be legitimate, but they were sold for cheaper in other countries. For example, Windows keys were once much cheaper in China. Other keys could have been purchased with stolen credit card numbers. A criminal acquires some credit card numbers, purchases a bunch of Windows keys online, and sells them through third-party websites at a cut rate.
When the credit cards are reported as stolen and the chargebacks occur, Microsoft deactivates the keys, and those Windows installations are no longer activated—but the criminal gets away with the money people paid for them. Some keys may be education keys intended for students but obtained fraudulently.
On really sketchy websites, you may just be purchasing a completely fake key or an already-known key that was used to pirate Windows on multiple systems that has been blocked by Microsoft. An especially bad website might even steal the credit card number you use to buy the key and use it to start the credit card fraud game anew.
But Do They Work? Do they work? Well, maybe. They often do work…for a while. We stuck it in a virtual machine , and it worked for about a year. Your key may never work in the first place, it may work for a month, or it may never be blacklisted at all.
By purchasing them, you may be supporting criminals who steal credit card numbers. Or, you may be rewarding people who abuse programs set up to help students and encouraging the shutdown of these programs. Use the Microsoft Student Discount: Free Microsoft offers students attending certain universities and high schools the ability to activate Windows 10 Education for free. You can see if your school is eligible and download your free key here. The key is yours even after you graduate.
But is Windows 10 Education any different from Windows 10 Home? Windows 10 Education is the same as Windows 10 Enterprise, which Microsoft calls the most robust version of Windows The OS has features targeting security, device control and management and deployment that Windows 10 Home lacks. In addition to ethical concerns, if you get caught, Microsoft can make you pay up anyway. And while some turn to Microsoft for this purchase, there are third-party websites selling keys for much cheaper than Microsoft.
Now, let's address the elephant in the room. While we can't vouch for all of them, websites selling lower-priced Windows keys are likely selling legitimate codes. One popular site, Kinguin, has 37 merchants worldwide selling Windows keys. It's just another marketplace. A hint will be if that key is too cheap -- i. And, as with anything else, if you haven't heard of a seller, check their ratings or go elsewhere.
No matter where you get your product key, you shouldn't download Windows 10 from anyone besides Microsoft. At the moment there are a limited number of sites where you can legally purchase digital downloads of Microsoft software. Downsides of Cheap Keys These non-Microsoft websites have varying return policies for software key purchases. Meanwhile, Amazon and Newegg both have no-refund policies for software keys. Amazon claims all keys sold on its site are genuine, and any gripes you have with your key must be handled by the individual vendors.
This final downside is only applicable if you want to equip your PC with Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. Buy a Windows Key From Microsoft: Do you enjoy the thrills of a watermark-free screen and the comfort of knowing you can call Microsoft support if you have any problems? Then you need a key, which, as discussed, you can get from various retailers.
Buy Windows 10 Pro for the cheapest price. Go Pro if you think it's worth paying more for the Pro features. Buy Windows 10 Pro if you need the extra security and management improvements over the. It used to be that a good Windows 10 device cost an arm and a leg, and the cheap ones were rubbish. But that's the past. Today there are plenty of affordable, quality Windows 10 tablets to choose. Nov 14, · Chuwi is a Chinese brand you might not be familiar with but that is putting out some really great, really affordable Windows 10 hardware. The Herobook has a inch anti-glare display, which.
But note that a key can only be used on one PC at a time, so if you use that key for a new PC build , any other PC running that key is out of luck. Downsides of Using an Old Key When using an older Windows key to activate Windows 10, you may run into complications if Microsoft isn't sure whether you're eligible to update or not. But that seems to be happening less in recent months and years. Don't Activate Windows: I have colleagues who have used non-activated versions of Windows for years without Microsoft ever shutting it down. Microsoft brands PCs running an unactivated version of Windows 10 with a watermark in the bottom-right corner of the screen.