Microsoft steps up attack on software pirates

Microsoft is continuing its efforts to clamp down on people using pirated versions of its software with the launch of a new website and a slew of new lawsuits.

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Microsoft is continuing its efforts to clamp down on people using pirated versions of its software with the launch of a new website and a slew of new lawsuits.

The new website provides information for how customers can tell whether software is genuine. It shows examples of suspicious packaging and other clues that can help alert users if they’re buying the real deal or a fake copy of Windows or other Microsoft software.

Meanwhile it has also filed 20 more lawsuits against people it claims are dealing counterfeit or pirated software in 13 states. Lawsuits were filed against alleged counterfeiters in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia, Microsoft said.

The company has been systematically investigating and filing lawsuits over the past two years against individuals or companies it believes is illegally counterfeit or pirated versions of its software.

SQL Server 2000, Windows XP Pro and Office 2003 Pro are among the software applications the companies allegedly are distributing illegally, according to Microsoft.

The moves are part of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative (GSI), which the company launched in July 2005 to prevent pirated and counterfeited versions of Microsoft software being sold to users. The initiative has three parts - education, engineering, and enforcement. According to some analyst reports, software companies lose billions of dollars every year to software pirates.

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