facebook rss twitter

Education is key to winning the fight against software pirates, say leading industry experts

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa245

Add to My Vault: x

Press release

Microsoft announces the names of 10 UK computer resellers caught dealing in illegal software as part of Microsoft Consumer Action Day

Reading, 17th November 2010 - The IT channel will continue to suffer the devastating effects of software piracy unless it starts to engage more effectively with businesses, according to a panel of industry experts at a recent Microsoft roundtable debate. With illegal traders continuing to steal revenue from innocent resellers, the panel emphasised the pivotal role partners need to play in educating businesses and consumers on the risks they face by using pirated software.

The roundtable coincided with Microsoft's global Consumer Action Day, a worldwide event aimed at making businesses and consumers more aware of the dangers associated with counterfeit software. As a reminder of the scale of illegal software sold in the UK, Microsoft also announced the names of 10 computer resellers who have admitted to dealing in illegal software over the last six months.

Michala Wardell, head of anti-piracy at Microsoft, commented: "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."

Priyen Patel, policy advisor at the Federation of Small Businesses agreed, adding, "Businesses should never underestimate the value of establishing a good relationship with their IT supplier. Too often IT is at the bottom of the to-do-list, with business owners unsure of where to turn to for advice and support."

During the debate, Michala Wardell revealed that software pirates are continuing to dupe people into thinking they're getting the real deal. "Around 14% of new PCs shipped with Windows in the UK are running a pirated copy of the operating system, with even a higher number of 29% for Microsoft Office". Furthermore she revealed that during a one month period in August this year there were over 16,000 illegal copies of Microsoft Office and 20,000 copies of Windows downloaded online.

Offering advice on what to look out for when buying software online, Wardell recommended: "Always check the price of the software compared to mainstream online sellers, even a £10 difference could mean that the software isn't genuine."

Also, in its efforts to counter piracy in the UK, Microsoft has named a further ten resellers found guilty of ‘Hard Disk Loading'. This takes the total number of guilty resellers that have been caught this year to over 75. Settlements have successfully been reached with the following 10 resellers, of which all admitted to hard disk loading and selling software illegally:

  • Selectweb - Lancashire
  • 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

Mr Luis Gomes from 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."

As part of Consumer Action Day, Microsoft commissioned a worldwide study which highlighted that piracy is not just a UK problem but a global one. The study, which looked at more than 38,000 people's perceptions of counterfeit software from around the world, found there is resounding public support for government and industry to take action against counterfeiters. Sixty-five percent of respondents called on government to act, while seventy-two percent agreed that the software industry itself should be doing more.

For more information about Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts and to learn how to purchase and sell software more safely, please visit https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/licensing/licensingantipiracy.

Alternatively, Microsoft Partners are welcome to join the ‘How Microsoft and Partners can combat Software Piracy' live meeting, taking place on November 18th https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/trainingevents. A video of meeting will also be available to download after the event.