First of all, we must commend Sharita Juan for the eloquent choice of words in the subject line of this spam message.
Note that we received an identical note from Sharmaine Anya with the title "U are Stupid Dumbass If U Pay Retail Price For Softwares called indeed ground". Both senders sent identical messages, except for the links in the message. The spelling throughout is horrible. This is probably done to avoid having the company names and software titles come up on a search. In other words, the entire message is devious.
There is probably a little larceny in all of us. When faced with the temptation to buy Windows XP Professional for only $32 many people could take the bait. They know it is wrong and that know there could be a catch but they will do it anyway. After all, who really needs the box and a small manual when, according to the sender, you get the full Windows XP Pro software and a serial number for only $32.
These are touted as being OEM packages. OEM software is provided to Original Equipment Manufacturers under a special licensing arrangement that requires it to be sold only with a new computer system or only if it is bundled with another software package. We buy OEM software when we assemble computer systems but ours always include a CD, a small manual, and a certificate of authenticity with a pre-printed license key. Selling OEM software on line in this manner is probably in violation of the license.
Microsoft requires that users of OEM software go to their supplier for support or licensing issues. If you bought Windows or Office with a computer from a company such as Dell or Gateway then you will have support for it. In this case you would have to contact the sender of whichever letter you received: (Extra spacing below is intentional)
||http: // www. passionrelative. co. nz. zinkuq. com /0 /p/
||http: // www. randifficult. com. lt. moziyu. com /0 /p/
The letter states that you will receive your own exclusive registration key via e-mail. That is not the same as receiving a certificate of authenticity with a unique, pre-printed serial number. There is no guarantee that someone else will not have the same license number. There are legitimate licenses that bypass some of the restrictions or costs of a retail license but these can cause problems if you require support or updates. They could also result in legal action if you are found out.
- Not-for-resale software is furnished to companies that sell and service the software. Support calls may be handled through a special office, which may question your credentials as a reseller or consultant.
- Corporate licenses allow using one key for all copies at one company. The license count is often monitored by the software company. Patches and updates are not generally available on line; the corporate IT department distributes them. Calls for support may require furnishing a site ID or the name of an authorized contact.
- Developer kits are for software developers and programmers. Support is often provided through a special department and may require verifying that you are authorized to have this software.
- Educational licenses provide discount pricing for full-time students and teachers. Support may require furnishing proof of your educational status.
- Cracked software has had the licensing bypassed by software pirates. On-line update services may be able to detect this and may deny access to updates.
Microsoft built an activation scheme into their retail Windows XP products that is supposed to thwart piracy. Apparently it has not done so to the degree they would like because their announcement of Service Pack 2 for XP mentioned that certain common types of piracy could be detected and these copies would not be updated.
Computer software has become increasingly complex. It is also increasingly under attack by viruses and malware (adware, spyware, etc.) and thus it must be kept up to date. Most large software companies offer free periodic updates and patches for their software but only if you can prove you have a valid license.
If your computer system is destroyed by a virus you could spend hours reloading your software and data. Will you be glad that you saved a few dollars to buy a "hot" copy of your anti-virus software? If your copy of Windows will not update it could be subject to attack from the outside. Will you be happy to re-install Windows from scratch, possibly overwriting your data in the process?
It's your call. We choose to buy only legal software. The sender of this spam can call us a stupid dumbass for buying legal software if they like but at least we are a smart stupid dumbass and a wise stupid dumbass. Hmmm. Let's not go there....