Here at PC Clinic we are seeing an increase in software scams, mostly linking to Microsoft products.  For many years now Microsoft have had problems trying to ensure that everyone is using genuine software, including their Windows and Office packages.  As a repair centre we have seen several cases of Windows 7 Ultimate being installed onto refurbished systems when they are licenced for say Windows XP or Vista.  Chances are these have been loaded with non-genuine versions of Windows.  Same applies to Microsoft Office – many customers say a friend installed it for us, or it was ‘like it when they bought it’, but this often indicates pirated software.

So how do you tell the difference between genuine and pirated?  The answer is pretty simple:

  • Genuine licence stickers attached to PC or laptop – matching what is installed
  • Licences readily available on Microsoft labels or keycards for Office products

So if you have Windows 10 installed when it says XP on the label, this isn’t genuine.  Likewise if you have Office 2016 with no licence key (or approved email from an authorized online reseller with the licence key noted), it is likely to not be genuine.  Only exception is that Windows 7 and newer systems could be upgraded to Windows 10 thanks to Microsoft’s free upgrade in 2016.  Sometimes systems have newer versions of Windows thanks to the MS Refurbisher Scheme, but there must be an additional label present and the system bought from an approved MS Refurbisher.

Always purchase from known and trusted sources, and avoid the “too good to be true” deals as these are often counterfeit software or those that do not meet the licencing guidelines.  For more information on Microsoft and piracy visit,

PC Clinic Technologies Ltd are Microsoft Partners and MS Registered Refurbishers.  We only retail genuine software, and do not condone the use of unlicenced software.  To make sure you’re helping Microsoft to eliminate the use of pirated software, visit your local Which Trusted Trader approved Computer Store in Huntingdon Court.  Don’t become a victim of Software Piracy!