I am having a bit of regret contacting Microsoft on their Piracy email address about copies of Windows XP I bought off eBay... Mainly my XP Pro that was sold w/o the product key and was initially an OEM OS.
My inquery to Microsoft was to ask whether it was true I could obtain a key to use with it after the fact. I was so 'burned' by the way I expected this to install and then noted looking back at the listing, it seems to have mentioned no code or key being included... Somehow I had neglected that. My earlier copy of Windows 98 SE I was hoping to reinstall after the drive was wiped to fix damage to the tracks/sectors.. I was told without a 'ghost' it would ask for a product key but if there were remnants of 98 on the HDD still, it would reinstall, which it had, without any input required. After getting back automated responces of thanks via Microsoft's returned email, they advised me, quoting the Windows 98 problem, to call their phone number and speak with them on the matter.
My question, is I think I'm liable just for buying Windows in the manner described and the fact, I have copied items in the past for my own use, scares me a bit (The simple fact I can't afford to buy everything I need to use... goes back to the day of our family's first Apple... You know that software was librally traded and swapped giving software makers just concern)
I gave Microsoft information on the XP auction and seller, but again, mainly out of that feeling of frustration... Did I open a Pandora's box here? Nothing drastic resulting yet, but I have a feeling the Microsoft people are 'hard-liners'!