How to Check My Windows Certificate of Authenticityby Adam Parker
According to the Windows Genuine Advantage program, more than 60 million computers are running a pirated copy of Windows. That translates to one in every five computers running a counterfeit copy of Windows. It is possible to verify a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) through Microsoft to ensure that your operating system is genuine.
Review Microsoft’s guidelines to identity a genuine Certificate of Authenticity. Under optimal circumstances, do this before purchasing a new copy of Windows.
Use the Genuine Microsoft Software tool to validate the Windows product key from the Certificate of Authenticity.
Report a suspicious Certificate of Authenticity or product key to Microsoft through the How to Tell web page (see Resources).
- check Always purchase Windows software from reputable sources.
- check Ensure that the purchased software license matches the intended use. For example, only specific individuals and organizations can use academic licenses.
- close Professionally counterfeited copies of Windows can look extremely realistic. Microsoft maintains a gallery of counterfeits for reference on its How to Tell web page (see Resources).