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Microsoft nabs 11 illegal software dealers

Microscope contributor


Microsoft's ongoing campaign against traders dealing in illegal software has caught 11 more resellers across the country.

This brings the total number of hard disk loaders that Microsoft has fingered since January to 103. The vendor said that with the UK piracy rate currently standing at 27% it would not be giving up its efforts to re-educate small traders who sometimes were not even aware they were doing wrong.

Hard disk loading normally occurs when a system builder sells a PC with unlicensed software pre-installed. In most such cases the dealers have used one copy of a software programme, but installed it on more than one machine.

Microsoft UK SMB & distribution director, Simon Aldous, called on the channel to help in the fight and pull revenues lost to piracy back into the authorised channel.

"The imminent launch of Windows 7 makes this the perfect time to step up the fight against piracy," he said.

"The prevalence of illegal and counterfeit software in the UK presents a huge opportunity to convert customers to genuine products. Taking a proactive approach to piracy helps reduce the threat and make the most of the opportunity," Aldous continued.

According to Microsoft, the Windows Genuine Advantage authentication service currently flags around 13% of Windows installations as not genuine, and the failure rate for Office products is higher still at 45%.

Microsoft anti-piracy attorney Graham Arthur said Redmond was working hard to bolster the system's anti-piracy capabilities with the upcoming launch of Windows 7, which is widely tipped to be a top-seller.

Microsoft named the dealers involved as;

Computer Clinic, Bolton
Computer Port, Walsall
Eazy PC, Redcar
Goldcast Computers, Stockton-on-Tees
Matrix Computers, Stockton-on-Tees
PC Assist, Oldham
PC Support, Worcester
Personal Touch Computers Ltd, Portsmouth
Platinum Computers, Hartlepool
Spacebar Computers, Litherland, Liverpool
The Little Computer Shop, Griffithstown, Pontypool

Matrix Computers' David Evans said he was pleased to see Microsoft was willing to keep working with small traders such as himself to ensure they were selling legal copies of its products.

"We recognise that we weren't installing Microsoft software correctly and that's something we take seriously. Getting it right is important to us and our customers - the lifeblood of a business like ours," he said.

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