"Anyway, he did it for $1,200 and would not give her the W98 cdrom and she said she couldn’t get support at the website without it [even my w98cdrom doesn’t have a serial nbr on it’s cd face].
The guy said it wasn’t needed and that it was completely legal."
The guy was correct. If a customer puchases an OEm copy of the software they are not necessarily entitled to a CD, Manual or anything, except the “Certificate of Authenticity” Which is a piece of paper to prove it isn’t pirated.
You do not need the CD to get support, there is a number that is built into every MS product after install called the Product Identification Number" and it is in the software (In windows, right click on “My Computer” and select preferences) This number idicates several things, one of which is how it was purchased.
If it is an OEM copy, the manufacturer, or person who installed it is responsible for support of that product, because they purchased the product from MS with the intention of reselling it and providing support for it.
Now, if someone is just installing products on other people’s computers MS can tell in 1 of 2 ways:
it’s a retail copy, hence in the Microsoft Database when someone calls in for support their information will be taken to ensurte only one licensed copy is out there in use.
If it is OEM and too many people have it the OEM number can be traced back to the company who purchased that block of OEM numbers.
To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.