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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: Microsoft Vista PC?
By Pirks on 9/21/2006 1:45:19 PM , Rating: 1
Apple "Boot Camp" could be increasing the sales of Mac systems as users can now buy one PC and be able to boot OSX and if they choose to do so, Windows
That helps too, but my main point was that MS successfully follows some of the leads of other companies, for example they successfully put serious pressure on Sony which was a clear leader in consoles just a couple of years ago, and now they are trying to exert same kind of pressure on iPod line, so basically what I was saying is: if MS can leverage Zune as well as it did with Xbox, then following same route definitely makes sense, and the next logical choice would be to continue to put pressure on Apple but now in a form of a Mac competitor. If MS can fight Sony on a large market of consoles, and if they can do the same with Zune - I think it's pretty clear that if Mac market grows to some significant point which justifies another attack from MS, then they will do it.

Looks like the main obstacle is the Mac user base size - at the moment it's not large enough to justify spending on MS side. But imagine what would happen if this market grows to say 30% US market share in retail PC sales? I'm sure MS would be more than seriously interested in such a large market. So it's a matter of time and some luck on the Apple side - if they blaze the trail that's large enough for MS mammoth - the mammoth will eventually go there :) It's the same strategy MS was always following - intervening the large market created by someone else and putting a big fight in there, recall Netscape for example, or Sony playstation deal, or what happens with Adobe Acrobat if MS Metro format embedded in Office takes over, or what happens with Symantec if Vista has all thir functionality built in... same with Mac - what if PC has all Mac goodies built in? See, it's all the same, the question if not "if", the question is "when".

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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