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Microsoft accuses Newegg of selling pirated Windows 10 keys

Newegg has reportedly been selling pirated Windows 10 OEM digital keys.
Newegg has reportedly been selling pirated Windows 10 OEM digital keys.
Newegg has been subjected to a grilling on Reddit in recent days. One such thread reports that a Microsoft rep has stated that two Windows 10 OEM keys sold by the online retailer were pirated. Newegg has since promised to send out physical replacements for those who have bought keys that will not activate.

Buying software online can be a tricky experience, particularly if bought from a new or unknown seller. However, there is now increasing disquiet on Reddit about Windows 10 OEM keys being sold by Newegg. There have been multiple posts on other forums like the Microsoft Community and on Anandtech dating back to 2013, but a recent post on Reddit has gained so much attention that the mods on r/buildapc have been chasing Newegg for answers. The company has reportedly responded too.

The first thread, which was started by u/aeraventia and currently has over 17,500 upvotes and has been stickied, alleged that two Windows 10 Home OEM keys bought from Newegg had failed to activate. Interestingly, these keys were sold by Newegg and not a third-party seller. The affected Redditor contacted Microsoft and was told by a representative that both keys had been pirated and were not genuine Microsoft products. There are hundreds of similar negative reviews on Newegg, which are echoed on Amazon by people who have had bad experiences with OEM keys that were sold by Amazon Digital Services.

This issue appears to be more than just online chatter too. Reportedly, a Newegg Media Representative has stated that the company will 'mail a physical replacement of Windows 10 Home or Pro versions' to those who have had issues with Windows 10 Home keys sold by Newegg. Moreover, Newegg has supposedly set up an inbox to deal with such issues. It appears then that Newegg has recognised that there is an issue.

Interestingly, some people have reported the OEM keys will only work when inputted prior to Windows 10 being installed and not from within the Activation menu in Settings. It is worth keeping in mind that Microsoft has been having Windows 10 activation issues in recent weeks, but it is unclear whether the Newegg issue is related.

Microsoft has a counterfeit software reporting page for those who have inadvertently purchased pirated Microsoft software, but the issue here does not seem clear cut currently; the Newegg keys may prove not to be pirated.

What are your experiences? Let us know in the comments.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > Microsoft accuses Newegg of selling pirated Windows 10 keys
Alex Alderson, 2018-11-22 (Update: 2018-11-22)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor
I got my first smartphone aged 11, my first PC aged 12 and I have been tinkering with electronics ever since. I like to keep abreast of the latest news and technology, which inevitably leads me to switch my laptop and phone every few months. When I'm not writing for Notebookcheck, you will find me seeking out new coffee shops, bars and trying to find some hidden gems in record stores.