Retail MSDN Authentication/License Validity RRS feed

  • Question

  • First, let me state that I know better, but I was smitten.  I purchased from a seller on eBay what was stated to be a sealed, full retail version of Windows 2012 Server Standard.  Upon receiving it, I immediately became concerned because the package just didn't look right.  So I called Microsoft to see if the Product Key was valid.  They said it was.

    However, they stated that the Product Key was for a "Single Use Retail MSDN" version of Windows 2012 Server Standard.  I really didn't catch this until after we ended the call.  All I computed was 'retail', which is what I had wanted.  After a bit of thought, I realized it might not be legit.

    It is my understanding that one cannot purchase a single MSDN copy of software, that it is a subscription that provides many products.  In years prior, I was a registered partner and regularly subscribed to the Microsoft Action Pack so I understand the subscription licensing with it, as well as the restriction to never sell or give away the software to anyone and that new subscriptions are non-perpetual.  I assume this is the same with a retail MSDN subscription.

    My work with Server 2012 has been via  pre-installed OEM editions on Dell/HP servers.  I need to upgrade a production server from 2008 Standard (non R2) to 2012 due to some other software requirements, so I thought I'd find a copy on eBay.  The package contents look legit with the DVD, Quickstart Guide, the Product Key card and a single square paper for Indonesia only, but it is missing a printed EULA.  My concern is not only related to the MSDN issue, but also that the DVD has no holographic type edge and there was a very thin, clear, protective plastic ring covering the center portion of the DVD.  Upon removing this, a small amount of the silver surface of the printed side of the DVD came with it.  This ring was basically a little thicker than a piece of food service plastic wrap, circular, covering the inner section of the DVD with no part of it covering the DVD spindle hole.

    Regardless if the DVD is legit MSDN or not, isn't it true that an MSDN subscription owner is the only person who can use the MSDN softwares, even if they are server products, and that MSDN media/product can never be sold as individual software products or used in a production environment? Even though I could install and activate this, would I posses a valid licensed copy that would pass an audit?  Doesn't seem like it.

    I'm about to begin a tirade on this seller but want to ensure I'm right before demanding a refund, reporting them to piracy and filing an arrest warrant for fraud.



    Friday, January 8, 2016 6:15 AM


  • Hi Eric,

    Please send an email to me at and mention the forum link in it. I will reply to your email with more information.



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