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Microsoft sues 20 US-based companies for illegal hard-disk loading

Microsoft is taking the fight to the counterfeiters. The Redmond, Washington based company announced that it is filing 20 lawsuits against US resellers that are illegally distributing copies of Microsoft software. The companies under fire are accused of distributing counterfeit operating systems and accompanying software by using hard-disk loading (selling a customer or business a computer with pre-installed, unlicensed software).

Microsoft also announced the results of its forensic analysis of counterfeit copies of Windows XP from 17 different countries. Not surprisingly, the discs studied either didn't install or were loaded with additional content not officially sanctioned by Microsoft. According to Microsoft:

Of the 348 disks studied:

  • Thirty-four percent of the counterfeit copies
  • Forty-three percent had additional programs, or binary code, that are not part of genuine Microsoft Windows.

Of the remaining 228 disks:

  • Sixty-six percent had additional programs, or binary code, that are not part of genuine Microsoft Windows.
  • More than 40 percent of these added software programs or binaries had faults, and many included illegally created product keys, other tampered code, or code invisible to the user.

Microsoft has fought long and hard over the years against software piracy. The company ruffled a few feathers in the industry when it introduced a new activation scheme with its Windows XP operating system in 2001. Over the years, Microsoft has added additional features to combat piracy or let customers know if they have become a victim of counterfeiting. The Windows Genuine Advantage Program came under fire in June after it was found out that it was "phoning home" to Microsoft. Despite Microsoft's scramble to release an updated version of the software, two lawsuits followed after the initial discovery.

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RE: Long winded
By mindless1 on 9/21/2006 1:46:14 AM , Rating: 3
The funny part is the context.

You're either:

A) Opposed to this pirated software and thus, will reject the disc so the other factors didn't matter, or,

B) Not opposed to pirated software and the "extra binary code" is more pirated software that was considered value-added content, things like slipstreamed patches, freeware, tweaks, whatever. Don't think that I'm trying to justify anything, rather it's only suspicions about the ambiguous statements and what it might really mean.

I can't be confident of the presumptions made in B), since
I don't have any of these discs to look at, but would not expect viri, malware, etc on them- because even pirates are bound to want good word of mouth and repeat business when they're selling discs. That is, unless something slipped by them, which seems far more likely than for it to slip by MS's QC.

RE: Long winded
By mindless1 on 9/21/2006 1:49:25 AM , Rating: 2
On the other hand, I have no idea if people infected from counterfeit software would say anything about it, there might be this other source of infection that I just don't realize.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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