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.”
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.