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Here be pirates, warns Microsoft

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Microsoft today warned that up to 100,000 counterfeit software CDs are set to be circulated around the channel this week. The software giant said the fake Microsoft Office 97 Professional CDs threatened to flood the Christmas market at a retail cost of about £35 million in lost sales. The counterfeiters are claiming the CDs are genuine Microsoft products which failed to pass through quality control checks at Microsoft’s Irish processing plant. The CDs, in counterfeit jewel cases, were packed in fake boxes falsely stamped with "rejected by EOC". Microsoft said there were certain characteristics that betrayed the illegal products. The CDs were in brown boxes with KAO and JB40 REVA stamped on the side in shiny black ink. The boxes had four compartments, containing up to 40 colour cases, but without any End User Licence Agreements (EULA) or Certificates of Authenticity (COA). David Gregory, Microsoft anti piracy manager, said: "We want to inform our channel of what we see as a dangerous threat to their businesses. These counterfeit products only help to tarnish reputations. Microsoft always recommends its channel to buy from authorised distributors or authorised OEM product distributors." ®

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