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COA Porthole reviels item is counterfeit? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently bought a New Microsoft Office Professional 2007 via a popular online auction website.  I've not opened it yet, but the package looks very authentic down to the COA.  To be sure, I went to the "How To Tell" page at the Microsoft website.  The side by side comparisons of the COA "Port hole" have give me pause to considering my new copy authentic.  The microsoft exmaples reveal a jagged edged hole, where the conterfeit example appears to have smooth edges.  My COA "port hole" window is smoothly rounded. I've got to say though, the packaging and COA to my laymens eye, look absolutely authentic.  I have close up pictures if there is anyone who would like to look and help me verify the COA before I open the package. The ribbon looks authentic too.  It silver with dark, maybe red print "My Passion" on it.   I just cannot make up my mind if this is authentic or counterfeit. Any help would be appreciated. You can view photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/33912899@N06/
    Friday, December 4, 2009 3:14 PM

Answers

  • Hello yvans2105,

    Darin Smith is the moderator of this forum and is the only Microsoft employee that currently posts in this forum.  For obvious reasons, I can predict that he would be limited to providing responses such as:

    1.  He is neither qualified or authorized to provide the official Microsoft position on whether any given package of software is "genuine" or not.  (And that goes for me, too, I'm just a "helper.")

    2.  Microsoft contracts nine forensic labs around the world to receive suspected counterfeit software products sent in by consumers and law enforcement officials--these labs are the only ones authorized by Microsoft to declare whether any given software package, disc, or program is "genuine" or not.

    Darin would probably tell you that for the purposes of the Office Genuine Advantage program, the only way the OGA program can evaluate any given software package is to install it, attempt to Validate it, and then run the mgadiag utility http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 against it to see the results.  While this will yield a very accurate result vis-a-vis "genuineness", I'm sure that Darin would also point out that there is some measure of risk installing a software package that is suspected to be counterfeit, because a lot of counterfeit Office software also comes with embedded malware that gets installed right along with the Office programs.

    I am basing my comment of "it looks bogus" on the same thing that you are---the porthole cut looks too clean and there are no jagged edges as there are on a genuine CoA.  The printing of www.howtotell.com and the Our Passion printing looks a little to "soft" or "blurry" or "bleedy."  If you are near a major retailer that sells Office, stop in an compare what's on the shelves at places like Walmart, Officemax, Best Buy, Staples, etc etc to what you received.
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Saturday, December 5, 2009 12:26 AM
    Friday, December 4, 2009 7:32 PM

All replies

  • Hello yvans2105,

    Looks bogus to me.

    Can you post the auction from which you purchased the item?
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Friday, December 4, 2009 3:52 PM
  • Why do you think its bogus?  Is there some way I can get an definitive and offical Microsoft response on this?  I'd hate to put the seller through the ringer if it turned out to be authentic.

    Friday, December 4, 2009 6:56 PM
  • Software counterfeiters have become experts in packaging items to look absolutely authentic.  However, it's what's inside that counts.  The only real way to tell is to install the software, activate it, then visit Microsoft Genuine Advantage and click on Validate Office.
    Carey Frisch
    Friday, December 4, 2009 7:19 PM
  • Hello yvans2105,

    Darin Smith is the moderator of this forum and is the only Microsoft employee that currently posts in this forum.  For obvious reasons, I can predict that he would be limited to providing responses such as:

    1.  He is neither qualified or authorized to provide the official Microsoft position on whether any given package of software is "genuine" or not.  (And that goes for me, too, I'm just a "helper.")

    2.  Microsoft contracts nine forensic labs around the world to receive suspected counterfeit software products sent in by consumers and law enforcement officials--these labs are the only ones authorized by Microsoft to declare whether any given software package, disc, or program is "genuine" or not.

    Darin would probably tell you that for the purposes of the Office Genuine Advantage program, the only way the OGA program can evaluate any given software package is to install it, attempt to Validate it, and then run the mgadiag utility http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 against it to see the results.  While this will yield a very accurate result vis-a-vis "genuineness", I'm sure that Darin would also point out that there is some measure of risk installing a software package that is suspected to be counterfeit, because a lot of counterfeit Office software also comes with embedded malware that gets installed right along with the Office programs.

    I am basing my comment of "it looks bogus" on the same thing that you are---the porthole cut looks too clean and there are no jagged edges as there are on a genuine CoA.  The printing of www.howtotell.com and the Our Passion printing looks a little to "soft" or "blurry" or "bleedy."  If you are near a major retailer that sells Office, stop in an compare what's on the shelves at places like Walmart, Officemax, Best Buy, Staples, etc etc to what you received.
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Saturday, December 5, 2009 12:26 AM
    Friday, December 4, 2009 7:32 PM
  • Thank everyone.  I appreciate your responses. They help a lot and I understand Darin's position.  I'm getting ready to blow the wistle on the seller and I am trying to be cautious.  I wouldn't want to cause anyone grief if I was mistaken.  I talked to someone at 1800-RU LEGIT at MS and they told me some other interesting thigs.  They said the description of the product would never be abreviated.  For example, the CoA on my product has " Office Pro 2007..."  Pro ought to be spelled out as Profesional. Also, there should be a statement on the CoA that say "For distribution in the U.S. and Canada." That statement is absent on my CoA. Additionally, he thought the letters, "....US On" were odd. I"m tempted to break the packaging open to do more verification, but then someone couls say I tampered with it.  Thank you, everone.  Much appreciated.
    Friday, December 4, 2009 7:57 PM

  • Sorry, I got to this thread late, but yes, Dan knows me well and everything he's said is spot on.

     (However, I actually didn't know we contracted nine forensic labs, that's kind of cool)

    With the amount of money involved in buying Office, I recommend that if you are uncomfortable at all, that it might be conterfit, stay on the safe side and return the software.

    Thanks for posting and good luck,
    Darin MS
    Saturday, December 5, 2009 12:25 AM
  • Hello Darin,

    The funny thing about that is, about a half hour before posting that response, I had just read that in the new "Consumer Action Day" content at www.howtotell.com.  Here's the page regarding Product ID Analysis Labs:  http://www.microsoft.com/howtotell/cad/Content.aspx?displaylang=en&pg=Forensic


    And no matter how I wrote and rewrote this "1.  He is neither qualified or authorized to provide the official Microsoft position on whether any given package of software is "genuine" or not.  (And that goes for me, too, I'm just a "helper.")" it just never sounded the way I wanted it to.  I was trying to convey that as a MS employee whose main job is to deal with the public, your responses here are shaped by legalities and corporate policy as well as by the technical facts.
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Saturday, December 5, 2009 3:21 AM