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Microsoft challenged over Windows COA stickers

by Scott Bicheno on 18 June 2009, 16:03

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), ITACS

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Sticky situation

Indie technology trade association ITACS seems to be stepping up its PR efforts of late. Last week it was having a pop at PC World over its sales techniques and this week it has turned its attention to Microsoft.

The issue in question is the certificate of authenticity (COA) stickers that come on any PC with Windows installed. They provide the only copy of the product key end-users need to activate their copy of Windows when they first use their PC, or when they have to reinstall Windows.

The reason ITACS is getting involved is that many of its members make their living by repairing and maintaining the PCs of their customers and are facing increasing problems with these stickers either getting damaged, lost or with the print rubbing off - especially a problem with notebooks.

Aside from the apparent inadequacy of the sticker system, the issue with Microsoft appears to be that it's referring these indies to the retailers or manufacturers to resolve the problem - implying it doesn't have a direct resolution of its own. ITACS has to date been unable to initiate a direct dialogue with Microsoft on the matter.