Microsoft has continued its policy of naming and shaming resellers caught distributing illegally copied software, as it calls on the IT channel to tackle piracy more effectively.
The software giant held a roundtable discussion as part of its Consumer Action Day, a worldwide event aimed at making businesses and consumers more aware of the dangers associated with counterfeit software.
One of the conclusions reached was that the channel will continue to suffer unless it starts to engage more effectively with businesses. Around 14 per cent of new PCs shipped in the UK with Windows are running a pirated copy, and this figure rises to 29 per cent for Microsoft Office.
Microsoft has now named a further ten resellers found guilty of ‘hard disk loading’ and selling software illegally, taking the total number caught this year to over 75. Settlements have successfully been reached with:
Computer Trading, West Sussex
Tech Computers, West Midlands
PC Academy, Preston
Call Tech Support (CTS), Bolton
Impact Computers, Preston
PC Practitioners, Derbyshire
MSB Computers, Blackburn
Multi Tech Systems, West Yorkshire
Ossett PC Centre, West Yorkshire
Luis Gomes of Ossett PC Centre said: “After being contacted by Microsoft, we realised we needed to change the way in which we operated. We pride ourselves in our customer service and understand that on this occasion we let our standards drop. We are now working more closely with Microsoft to ensure that our business doesn’t add to the hugely damaging effects of software piracy.”
Michala Wardell, head of anti-piracy at Microsoft, added: “If you speak to most small computer shops they’ll tell you that piracy is having a clear impact on their business. The damage rogue traders inflict on the channel by selling pirated software is huge. However, by proactively speaking to businesses and advising them about the dangers of using illegal software, resellers can position themselves as trusted advisors and take back some of the money that previously would have been lost to pirates.”
During August this year, over 16,000 illegal copies of Microsoft Office and 20,000 copies of Windows were downloaded online.
“Always check the price of the software compared to mainstream online sellers, even a £10 difference could mean that the software isn’t genuine,” Wardell advised.