Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:26

Microsoft $450K richer after software bust

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Microsoft is $450,000 richer after Victorian reseller Centre Com agreed to settle on a piracy breach.

Centre Com, operated by director Raymond Xianke Huang, established 18 years ago, has 10 stores in Victoria and an online presence, as well as being an authorised Apple service centre and reseller. It sells products from most majors: HP, Intel, ASUS, Samsung and Lenovo, although the origin of these products is unknown.

Microsoft's investigators purchased two new computer systems from Centre Com, according to the vendor, which were found to have counterfeit Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) attached, with unauthorised copies of Windows 7 Professional installed.

Microsoft Australia legal counsel Clayton Noble said, “Microsoft will continue to do business with Centre Com. Purchasing Microsoft products from unauthorised resellers compromises the integrity of software distribution channels, and is unfair to those Microsoft resellers who obey the law and purchase and resell only genuine and licensed Microsoft software products available from Microsoft’s authorised distributors.”

Microsoft has had a run of successful convictions of late. Moonbox sold more than 3600 pirated keys for 17 different Microsoft products and settled for nearly $1 million and its four directors were permanently banned from representing themselves as lawful resellers of Microsoft software.

Last year Software Oz, PC-Tek, and Bytestech settled for $300,000, $25,000 and an undisclosed amount respectively. These were all for supplying pirate copies of Microsoft programs and for preloading Windows 10 and Office Professional Plus 2013 onto hard drives.

But one of the more significant breaches last year involved PC Case Gear obtaining 4000 Microsoft Certificates of Authenticity for Windows 7 that belonged to a Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher Program.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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