When you’re using Microsoft Office and its operating system (OS), you can use many applications that can manage your calendars, emails, create presentations and documents, and many more. But different groups of people only use specific office-related apps; thus, some Microsoft Office apps may not be usable for other groups of people.
For instance, students may not use Microsoft Office apps that businesses use. That’s why different Microsoft created various suites to cater to every group of people. As a result, they can fully enjoy what they’ve paid for.
Well, you read that right. Enjoying the benefits of Microsoft Office and its OS has a cost. Although Microsoft has free trials for a couple of months, you won’t be able to enjoy its features. But before calculating how much it’ll cost you to use Microsoft Office and OS, you need to familiarize yourself with the various MS Products License Key:
• License Key: In this article, you’ll often read license key, activation, key, or product key. Well, don’t get confused as they all mean the same thing. The MS license key has 25 alphanumeric characters; you’ll need to activate the Microsoft Office suite and Windows operating system into your device. In layman’s term, it serves as your key to open up your door so that you can enter and use your property.
• Volume License: For organizations using more than one copy of MS, they may need bulk licenses or volume license. However, the volume license is only one key that can activate multiple MS installations.
• OEM License: The original equipment manufacturer license is a key for hardware sales of equipment manufacturers. These hardware products refer to computers, laptops, and other devices using Windows. So when you buy a computer with a pre-installed copy of MS, then the manufacturer used the OEM license for such a device. However, you can’t use the OEM license to another device as OEM licenses are directly linked to the hardware.
• Retail License: Unlike the OEM license, a retail license is transferable or usable to other copies of MS. But to use it to one or a new copy of Windows, you need to remove the old system. That’s why it comes pricier than the OEM license.
Cost Of Microsoft Product Keys
Well, even without paying for your MS product key, you can still use the Office and OS of Windows, although you won’t use their extra features.
Depending on the version of the MS software, the price may cost you up to a hundred dollars or more. For instance, you’ll pay roughly USD 119 for a copy of Windows 10 Home while USD 199 for Windows 10 Pro.
Another thing that may affect the price of MS licenses is the type of license. If MS Office suite may cost you more than a hundred dollars, MS volume licenses may cost you up to USD 3,000. Also, the latest version, the pricier it gets.
Now, if you want to buy a cheaper version of any MS licenses, you can do so as they’re available in many commercial sites.
Free MS Product Keys
Whether you want a paid version or not, getting a cheap or free version of the MS product key is easy. With so many sites that offer discounts, free downloads, and all, you can use the software of Microsoft legally or illegally. To name a few, here are ways to get a much lower or even a free product key:
• Buy From Third-Party Seller – Aside from directly buying product keys from Microsoft, you can also purchase license keys from third-party websites. Their prices come cheaper, of course. Some sites claim that they’re selling legit product keys. Their reason for such is wholesalers with surplus copies of MS sell it to them.
An advantage of buying MS product keys from legitimate sources enables you to call for the Microsoft support team when you need help. Although you haven’t purchased the product keys directly from Microsoft, this company still offers technical support online.
However, some of these third-party sites offer limited time for you to return the product keys. While others have an open return policy, most of these third-party sites have a no-refund policy.
• Use Microsoft Student Discount – If you’re a student from specific high schools and universities, you may get MS product key for free. One of which is the Windows 10 Education, so it’s best to check if you’re eligible. If yes, then you own the product key even when you graduate. The only disadvantage of this is it’s not available for all students as only the eligible schools let their students have such.
Although it’s free for students, the features of this MS version is as good as Windows 10 Home. This free version offers device deployment, management, control, and security that some versions lack.
• Don’t Activate The Product Key: Another way to use MS Office and OS for free is to download the software but not activating it. However, as mentioned, there’ll be downsides of not activating your copy. One of its many disadvantages, though you can live with it, is the regular popping up of “Activate Windows” prompt or watermark every time you use an MS Office app.
Moreover, even when you use Windows without activating it, you can’t personalize or customize your PC. You won’t be able to change or use other lock screen options, fonts, color schemes, taskbar, and other Personalization options. As a result, you can’t liven up your device.
Dangers Of Downloading Free Or Cheap Product Keys
You may think you’re lucky when you get to download a free or bought a cheaper MS product key, but that’s when you should be suspicious. Although some third-party sites are legitimate, when you’re not careful, you may end up getting your MS activation key from malicious websites.
Not only is it unethical to download free product keys, but worse, you may also be giving criminals opportunities to achieve their criminal intentions. Here are some dangers you can experience with malicious product keys:
• Scams are possible when people sell other licensing keys to other people without the knowledge of the actual licenses. Some people sell activation keys for a lower price only to find out that the product keys are only free trial versions.
• Another risk of downloading a free product key is getting a pirated Windows OS or Office. When you do, you may experience a broken system which may endanger the performance of your device. Unlike a genuine system that operates well, with a pirated one, it’ll cripple your device’s system.
• Also, when using pirated product keys, you may end up missing features vital to keep your device running. For instance, updates won’t be available, and thereby, you won’t be upgrading your security patches.
• Lastly, the worst that can happen is you increase your risk from cyber attacks. With a pirated system, cybercriminals can spread malware on your PC. Or they can even steal crucial data on your device like financial information and other personal data.
So if you want to avoid such instances, you may as well buy MS product keys straight from Microsoft or other legitimate websites. When you’re lucky, you may even buy discounted MS product keys from Microsoft, which happens from time to time.
Ways to Find Your MS Product Keys
So if you’ve bought a genuine product key, you won’t have a problem activating your MS Office or Windows OS. If it’s your first time to install your MS software, then you may not know where to find discounted MS activation key. Or if you’ve lost your MS product key, you can still recover it.
No worries, here’s are ways how you can find the MS license key of your MS office or OS:
• One of the easiest ways to access your licensing activation key is through a third-party utility. Although some third-party utilities may now work on OEM licenses, others may appear as false positive. It means that your antivirus might see the third-party utility as a malware, which is a good thing. Not only does your antivirus work, but you’ll get a chance to double-check if the third-party utility is safe to use.
After checking that the third-party utility is not some virus, you can now use it. Generally, you’ll have to unzip it after downloading the said utility. Then, run such a utility and it’ll show you the available MS product keys on your device.
• You can even use some third-party utilities to recover MS product key from your dead computer. Especially if it’s a retail license that you can use on another device, just attach the dead PC’s hard drive on a working PC then run the third-party utility. Then, voila! You can now grab your MS licensing activation key.
• Another way to find your MS license key is looking at your device. But first, you need to check your device’s Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker, especially if you’ve got a Windows 7-era laptop. The COA validates that the copy of Windows on your device is authentic with the attached product key.
• Then, for laptops, you can check its bottom or under its battery to look for the product key. For other laptops, the MS license key is on the case, charger brick, or other parts of your device.
However, if the sticker has been rubbed off, there’s a chance of missing some of the 25 alphanumeric characters of your MS product key.
• That’s why some newer versions of devices store the product keys on the Basic Input-Output System (BIOS) by the manufacturer or UEFI firmware of your laptop. The motherboard of your laptop or device contains low-level software, which is the BIOS or more updated version, which is the UEFI. These software wakes up the hardware components of your device then run the OS installed.
Moreover, with this software, you won’t have to manually enter your MS product key to activate your MS Office or OS. Just reinstall the Windows of your device, and the UEFI or BIOS will automatically activate your Windows.
Benefits of Using MS Activation Key
You may not appreciate all the information above without knowing the benefits of using MS activation keys, especially when it’s discounted, right? Aside from that, you may not even consider getting a legitimate product key, or if you’ve got one, you may not activate your Windows.
That’s why you’ll get to appreciate your MS product key when you understand how it’ll benefit you. So read the following benefits to start loving your MS product key:
1. Add Extra Features – As briefly stated above, a pirated MS product key won’t allow you to access some features of your device. But with an activation key, you can use Microsoft apps you’ve purchased in other devices. Store device management can let you link your PC to your android phone, too, so you can quickly transfer files and receive notifications from your phone to your PC. Also, you can see on your PC what’s on your phone’s screen. But wait, there’s more. With so many devices you need to use, you can sync their settings if you’ve activated your Windows with a genuine MS product key.
2. Secure Your Device – But even if you’ve got all the latest features of all your devices, without the MS product key, you can’t keep your devices safe. Not only are you protecting all your synced devices, but you’ll receive notifications if there’s a security issue on any of your devices. Moreover, Microsoft can suggest appropriate actions to keep your device optimal and secure.
3. Lock Your Device – Since you’ll get notifications if one of your synced devices are at risk, you can remotely prevent further risk. For instance, if you’ve lost your laptop, you can use your synced device to disable your laptop’s Windows OS so that other people won’t access it.
4. Find Your Devices – Then use Windows’ security features to access the location of your device. Well, you can only do so if you’ve got a genuine Windows software that you’ve activated through its MS license key.
5. Get Support – Well, without your product key, Microsoft support team can’t help resolve your issues. On the other hand, if you can give them your MS activation key, you can have their constant support. What’s more, they can access your device online, find the cause of your issues, and resolve it remotely. You don’t have to worry about sharing your device’s screen as all of it is recorded.
To wrap it up, having your device run with Microsoft Office and Windows OS is beneficial, especially when you activate them using your MS discounted license key. As long as you know what kind of MS license key your device has, you’ll also know where to find them. With such, you can enjoy the security features and advantages of a genuine MS activation key.
As long as you purchase your product keys on trusted and legitimate sites, you won’t endanger your device, especially when the price is lower than the retail price.