Pirate copies of Windows 7 hit China

Operating system found in electronics bazaars priced at $6
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Illegal copies of Windows 7 are already available in Chinese street markets, months before the operating system is due for release.

A Beijing market stall is one of many offering a hard drive image of the operating system saved on to a DVD disc for 40 yuan or $5.86, according to Computer World.

The benefit of hard drive images, or ghost files, is that software can be transferred on to a system, without having to make any product activations or authenticity checks.

The owner of the stall told Computer World that she had been selling these versions for over a month and had sold them to several dozen customers.

Further investigation of the disc found links to a website riddled with malware.

In Shanghai, police had cracked down on software piracy ahead of the World Expo. However, much of it was still available off the beaten track.