Downloadable Software

While searching for an old version of MS office I came across (as a google advertiser) a company called downloadable software. They say the will sell me MS office xp pro for 50 bucks, vs. 400 in the store? Could this be legal? Are they just trying to rip me off or will I get a somehow legal version of the software. I have no desire to steal anything, but if it is somehow OK, I will go with it. Anyone know anything about this. is the web site.

Under the faq, they give a lot of “reasons” why they do this. However, they do not happen to link to any proof they are licensed.

Yeah, I would call it suspicious. Sounds to me like they are the same people who sell pirated copies at flea markets. The phrase “iso” answers the question for me. Why should you have to write the programs to cd, if these are legit. Why not provide them in an executable format?

Doesn’t sound legit to me.

Just like my coding. :smack:

Look at any Linux download site and you’ll find CD images. Writing software to CD gives you a physical copy that won’t disappear if your hard drive dies, and it’s easier than putting together a self-extractor. Office is hundreds of megabytes; it’s designed to be installed from CDs, and the installation process would have to be totally reworked to do otherwise.

If you’re interested in free, vs. possibly pirated, stuff that’s at least similar to MS Office, perhaps you could get Open Office or Easy Office programs.

Also, it seems like was only registered this month to a PO box, and the admin contact email appears to go to an expired domain. None of that is confidence inspiring. I’m fairly sure you’d get some type of software from these guys, but whether it’d be legal and virus-free I’m much less sure. MS .NET Architect for $130 is a super deal, but there’s no way given the current information I’d give them my credit card information.

What is a .iso file anyway?

It’s a disk-image file. Basically, it’s a copy of the whole disk in one big-ass file.

I’m aware of two cases where legitimate software is being sold at what appears to be a very low price

1.) ‘educational license’ software. The software itself is legit, but the presentation of the ad is a bit misleading. FWIW The few dealers I’ve examined do require proof that the buyer is a student.

2.) Old revs of software being unloaded.

I do not know that any of the above applies to the vendor in question.

Used software may also be sold at a low price, especially if it was an educational version. Reselling software you’ve already purchased is generally considered legal under the first sale doctrine.

I bought an ‘educational licence’ package of Office from PC World for my mother. Nothing was required at point-of-purchase - registering the product required posting in details and proof of her employment as a teacher (in the end this just meant an appropriate signature).
(I’ve just realised that from September I’m entitled to such licences… :slight_smile: )

That may be true, but wouldn’t you be able to upgrade and/or register it? This site indicates that you can’t register the software with the manufaturer. That should be the biggest red flag.

Well, that may be part of the software company’s policy. They don’t have to give updates or support to anyone unless they want to, and they want to encourage people to buy new copies instead of used ones.

This may or may not be a concern, but whoever writes most of their text is not a native English speaker. And if there’s an editor or proofreader, then he’s not a native English speaker, either. I’d guess they’re native Spanish speakers due to some of their word choices. Doesn’t seem to be Russian or eastern European or even oriental; they often have other interesting word choices.

For example, “You do not need the software by any reason and have not downloaded it yet.” Or “your computer does not meet the minimal system requirements[.]” And so on. There’s nothing terribly wrong, but it’s just not right.

Additionally, it looks like they’re really web developers or something. Their “about us” says, “You’ve come to the right place if you need professionally implemented programming solutions for your usage.” This doesn’t sound like merchant language. Heck, rather than me cutting and pasting, look at their “about us” page yourself – they’re not merchants.

Also, the site looks like it was designed by someone using PostNuke or PHPNuke or one of its derivatives. They’re not bad in their own right, but without sufficient time and effort, you get totally predictable generic layouts (like that site) with themes that were slightly modified from other themes for a really bad, amateurish look (like that site). So, add lack of professionalism to the count.