As many as 25 UK-based firms selling computers running on pirated versions of Windows have been caught by software giant Microsoft, which used hired investigators to catch the firms involved in the illegal activity.
Concerned firms used to install pirate versions of Windows onto hard drives that were found in computers they were selling since the start of this year.
Commenting on the crackdown, Microsoft UK’s anti-piracy head Michala Wardell said, “We attempt to deal with most offenders ourselves, but where sellers persist in illegal activities, we call in UK trading standards officers.”
Michala Wardell added that buyers were unaware of the fact that they were paying for computers pre-installed with pirated copies of software downloaded from the internet.
List of offenders caught by Microsoft include Computer Services Repair in Birmingham, BNI Computers in Birmingham, Discovery Computers in Birmingham, Surf-IT Computers in Hampshire, Morley Computers in Leeds and TC Links in Liverpool.
Most of the firms caught by Microsoft confessed their mistake and started working with the software giant to correct their mistake. Each of the offenders caught reportedly paid Microsoft an undisclosed amount of money to hit a settlement.