Regular Office license: SEK 649 a year. At Finn.no: 79 SEK, once

The vast majority of us know about Microsoft's Office programs, which in recent years have been available in the form of a subscription package called Office 365. These are sold in the form of annual subscriptions, where you pay NOK 649 a year.

Regular Office license: SEK 649 a year. At Finn.no: 79 SEK, once
Regular Office license: SEK 649 a year. At Finn.no: 79 SEK, once


But at the marketplace Finn.no you can currently buy what looks like Microsoft Office 365 licenses for as little as 50 or 79 kroner for a lifetime subscription. Of course, it appears to be a bargain compared to the average annual price.

But the likelihood of this being legitimate licenses is vanishingly low, something we get confirmed by Microsoft Norway when we ask for advice:

We must investigate it further, but it looks like either pirated licenses or misuse of permits, says communications consultant Liv Tone Otterholt in Microsoft Norway to Tek.no.

License fraud like this is well known online, and is described, among other things, by the technology enthusiast Antti Koskela on his blog as a dangerous and stupid way to save money on:

Briefly explained: It's a scam. You get Office 365 for a few months, but you send valuable data to robbers. They abuse your data, steal your passwords and pictures, and you pay them to do so, writes Koskela.

In most cases, it is not a question of licenses, but an already existing account which can be part of a grant that belongs to a company, an academic institution, or the like.

The code you receive is therefore not a code to activate a regular license, but rather an already existing user name and password you use to log in and download the software.

This, of course, is a violation of Microsoft's policy, and you may run the risk of your account being disabled. Then you will lose everything you have stored on Microsoft's servers.

Also, the account administrator of the school or company that owns the account is likely to have access to your files and/or usage history.

The ads on Finn.no mostly use the word "lifetime license," while one of the sellers writes the following:

- Several others at Finn sell the same product and state that it is a "license," it is wrong. This is not a license but an already existing account. Take-over occurs by logging in and changing the password. You cannot log in with your own email. The report is not time-limited and lasts a lifetime.

The seller writes the following to Tek.no:

- Hi! I have bought them from an eBay seller in the belief that they are legitimate. I also use such an account myself for personal use.

The ads will be standing until further notice
Finn.nos PR and information manager Kristine EIA Kirkholm say they have received tips on these ads, but that they have tried to contact Microsoft, who could not help them further.

- So that means you let your ads stand?

"Since Microsoft could not tell whether it is legal to sell or not, we have chosen to let them stand for the time being," says Kirkholm.

Aside from the suggestion that there is probably talk of pirated or abused licenses, Microsoft is a wordlist:

- We are familiar with the problem and have reported this to our internal anti-piracy, which will investigate this further, writes communication adviser Liv Tone Otterholt in Microsoft Norway in an e-mail to Tek.no.

She says she has not managed to find out who Finn.no has talked to them, but says they are working on the case.

- Here you can read more about this type of fraud, writes Otterholt.

Do not sell product keys
Microsoft also warns on its own websites that they do not sell product keys to individual products.

- If you see a listing on an auction site, a classified ad, or any other website that promotes product keys for sale, it's a good indication that the keys are likely to be stolen or pirated, writes Microsoft.
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