Mircrosoft windows coa sticker Genuine Microsoft Labels
A Genuine Microsoft Label (GML) should be found on new devices that:
- Have been preinstalled with or licensed for Pro editions of Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
- Have been preinstalled with or licensed for Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 shipping into China (with the exception of Hong Kong and Macau).
- Are licensed for a Windows Pro product, but have been pre-installed with a Windows 7 Professional downgrade. These devices are licensed for Windows 8 Pro but not pre-installed with Windows 8 Pro. These devices would include a GML.
Software is intellectual property, and licenses provide the right to use the software and define the conditions of use. Only “Qualified Educational Users” are eligible to acquire Microsoft Academic Edition Products, those “Qualified Educational Users” are listed here:
- Educational Institutions
- Administrative Offices & Boards of Education
- Teachers, Faculty and Staff
- Public Libraries
- Public Museums
- Home-School Programs
Users that are not members of one of the eligible groups above should not have access to Academic Editions of product and are not eligible for the license terms offered to these groups of educational users.
Certificate of Authenticity (COA)
The COA is a label that is often attached to the body of a computer. You can typically find the COA label on the body of the computer or, for some newer laptops, inside the battery compartment.
COAs and/or product keys should never be purchased separately from the product.
Standalone COAsDefinition: Standalone COAs are COAs that are sold by themselves, without the accompanying software they authenticate. They are often branded as “excess inventory” or “unused labels” and are often counterfeit COAs. Purchasing standalone COAs and passing them off to unsuspecting customers is a form of piracy.
How to Avoid: COAs should never be sold, shipped, or purchased on their own, without being affixed to a PC or sold with related Microsoft software (either full packaged product or Microsoft OEM software acquired by system builders). Do not fall victim to standalone COAs.
Microsoft Certificates of Authenticity, for all products where software is pre-installed
For COAs affixed to computers preinstalled with or licensed for Windows 10 after August 14, 2018, the COA may feature the product name printed on the label and also contain anti-counterfeit security features such as:
Moiré Image – Within the red area on the left-hand side of the label is a feature to assist in proving the label is genuine.
Hold the label horizontally at arm’s length and at eye level. Look straight at the label and then move to a very shallow viewing angle, for example by tilting the label away from you. A series of zigzag lines and squares will become visible where there previously appeared to be none.
Earlier versions of Windows
For COAs affixed to computers preinstalled with or licensed for versions prior to Windows 10, the COA features the product name printed on the label and also contains anti-counterfeit security features such as:
Interwoven security thread – is built into the paper and random paper fibers are visible when the thread appears at the surface
Color shifting ink edge – changes from green to magenta when viewed from different angles
If you don’t see a Genuine Microsoft Label or COA on systems pre-installed with the Professional edition of Windows, it’s likely that Windows isn’t properly licensed on that PC and may even be counterfeit software. Get tips about buying genuine Microsoft software or make sure you have the right licensing for your business.