Let me just briefly say that I had my hunch that these sites, and a few others I stumbled upon with the same pricing range, are no good. I just wanted to see if folks who are more experience in this regard have come across other novices who have fallen for these vendors.
The interesting part is that a lot of people commenting on the purchases they have made on these sites expressed satisfaction, but in a way that just didn't sound straight out of a normal buyer's mouth.
Nonetheless, I just didn't want to risk it and obtained my Windows 8.1 (Pro seemed to be an overkill my use) from a legitimate site, albeit a bit cheaper than the official one sold on the MS site.
It looks like we're talking about venders from questionable locations, let leave this at that.
There are all sorts of possible ways this could wind up costing you, literally.
You need to ask yourself one question. If there are legal copies of product keys which can be purchased for this astonishing price, how come they aren't listed on eBay, Nextag, Amazon, etc.
Indeed. Several of the locations are tied to Hong Kong (read: China).
In the process of doing a search for these three sites I found a surprisingly large number of similar websites offer prices very similar in price. These are for the product key only, no media. Some of them will provide you with a means of downloading the operating system.
I've learned from experience that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. I will see what I can find out about this, there has to be a catch.
By the way, when I tried to go to the mskeyoffer website my antivirus stopped me very quickly. I definitely would stay away from that one.
Not quite the same pricing arrangment on all the sites although very close; perhaps to throw people off to suggest they don't operate by the same shoddy source.
You can purchase a license direct from Microsoft ( they provide a link to install the software). You can also purchase a Windows 8 Key card only from an online retailer. As dc3 mentioned I would be careful where you purchase your license. If your buidling your own system I recomment a OEM System Builder Pack from a online Retailer. This gives you install Media and a COA Key to Stick to your computer for safe keeping. Also The OEM system builder Licese agreement Also gives you Downgrade rights to Windows 7
Edited: Update to include Key card license only options.
Thanks for the links and descriptions.
I would trust Chad's (Sneakycyber) advice.
I've always bought my Microsoft software & licenses through work until I stopped working and now from NewEgg and Amazon.
There is one low cost method to get a Microsoft License cheap and legally. If You are in a School where they sell educational versions to their students. Does this description fit You?
What I believe those sites posted above are selling are Corporate (Enterprise) licenses or Cracked versions. Enterprise editions are illegal for home use.
Windows 8 Enterprise Windows 8 Enterprise provides all the features in Windows 8 Pro (except the ability to install the Windows Media Center add-on), with additional features to assist with IT organization (see table below). This edition is available to Software Assurance customers, as well as MSDN and Technet Professional subscribers, and was released on August 16, 2012.
Lets be honest, I would not trust a company in China, All three, selling that cheap to be selling legitimate versions.
Not a student, but my company does provide extreme MS discounted products. For instance, the Office Pro 2013 is offered around $5 (unfortunately, Windows 8 isn't one of the items). I'll surely be going to take advantage of this corp perk.
What I am mostly worried is 1) the key is stolen or cracked/generated which means down the line, it would be a lost to the customer 2) the download link points to a tampered OS that can help, basically, give your life away. I just don't want to gamble on this one.