Windows Central, you guys (unintentionally) promoted pirated software

GraniteStateColin

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May 9, 2012
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Back around May 31, WindowsCentral promoted a LifeHacker sale for Windows 11 Pro licenses for $39.99 ("79% off"). The post is still up:


While that price seemed too good to be true, I figured it must be good if recommended by Windows Central, so I bought a license just to have on hand for when I bought a new laptop to save $100: buy it with Windows 11 Home, then use the license to upgrade to Pro, saving the $100 extra for Pro at time of purchase or for the MS Store upgrade ($60 net savings). Well, I just bought a new laptop, tried to apply the license I bought from LifeHacker and absolutely hosed my system (because there's no way to revert to Home on an OEM laptop). After hours on phone with HP and MS (still on hold with another team trying to get this fixed), everyone has confirmed that the license is completely unusable as a pirated license.

So it was too good to be true. Shame on both of us for believing this scam. But, Windows Central, please learn from this and don't ever run a promotion for something like this again. And take down the page that promotes this, or update it to alert your readers not to buy.

Thanks,
Colin
 
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Jez Corden

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Jan 29, 2013
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Back around May 31, WindowsCentral promoted a LifeHacker sale for Windows 11 Pro licenses for $39.99 ("79% off"). The post is still up:


While that price seemed too good to be true, I figured it must be good if recommended by Windows Central, so I bought a license just to have on hand for when I bought a new laptop to save $100: buy it with Windows 11 Home, then use the license to upgrade to Pro, saving the $100 extra for Pro at time of purchase or for the MS Store upgrade ($60 net savings). Well, I just bought a new laptop, tried to apply the license I bought from LifeHacker and absolutely hosed my system (because there's no way to revert to Home on an OEM laptop). After hours on phone with HP and MS (still on hold with another team trying to get this fixed), everyone has confirmed that the license is completely unusable as a pirated license.

So it was too good to be true. Shame on both of us for believing this scam. But, Windows Central, please learn from this and don't ever run a promotion for something like this again. And take down the page that promotes this, or update it to alert your readers not to buy.

Thanks,
Colin
Apologies for this, LifeHacker is generally a trustworthy site so we figured it would be a good deal to recommend. That was pure news, not an affiliate play too since we aren't affiliated with them, etc. I've taken the post down for now.

I'll brief our writers not to recommend from LifeHacker in the future.
 

GraniteStateColin

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Apologies for this, LifeHacker is generally a trustworthy site so we figured it would be a good deal to recommend. That was pure news, not an affiliate play too since we aren't affiliated with them, etc. I've taken the post down for now.

I'll brief our writers not to recommend from LifeHacker in the future.
I agree that LifeHacker is usually pretty good. Maybe they got tricked too. I see WindowsCentral just posted a similar offer today (https://www.windowscentral.com/soft...y-cheap-enough-you-dont-have-to-steal-it-deal).

I suspect that's also fake. Terms look the same.
 

Jez Corden

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Jan 29, 2013
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LifeHacker generally a trustworthy site, don't they have something called evil week ?
yeah but even during evil week, i highly doubt they'd post a scam intentionally. evil week is more to do with like... teaching you hacking stuff lolol. at least it was back in the day, havent used them for a hot minute.
 
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