Since Windows XP was discontinued 2008, we have been working hard to get as many copies of it as possible in order to provide copies of XP for as long as we possibly can.
In our hunt, we recently received a shipment of counterfeit copies of Windows XP. We first noticed that the serial numbers on the left hand side were the same for all of the copies.
We contacted Microsoft, checked the counterfeiting section of their website, and looked at the gallery of some of the counterfeits they found.
Looking at the port holes, they do have sections where it is cleanly cut as the examples in the gallery show.
However, they did a slightly better job on the sections where there are still some threads showing.
Upon checking the product key with Microsoft, we were told that the key printed on the certificate came from a MSDN key.
So what can be done to avoid receiving counterfeit copies?
If you’re looking to pick up copies of XP, or any copy of Windows, always try to buy from an authorized Microsoft reseller. Another method would be to exercise your downgrading rights and completely skip having to hunt for the few remaining XP copies. Downgrade rights were created by Microsoft for users who don’t necessarily want to use the latest versions of Windows. They are easy to follow and only require that you already have XP media that you can use as well as an XP product key.
After purchasing an eligible Windows 7 or Vista license, simply install XP using the old media and old product key. If the media has been activated before, it just takes a quick call to Microsoft in order to activate over the phone. This is a viable option for quite some time. Downgrading to XP through Windows 7 will last until 2 years after the next Windows release. Refer to the downgrade rights page as well as their FAQ for more information.