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Microsoft UK claims 50 per cent anti-piracy hits

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Distributors re-selling old OEM stock discarded from Microsoft's vendors face a clamp-down, it has emerged. David Gregory, who heads up the UK anti-piracy group at Microsoft, said today that cases of distributors selling OS software, despite the fact it had been pre-installed on PCs, faced tough prosecution. That emerged after an unnamed distributor based in the Midlands was found selling Compaq-branded NT Workstation V4 for a mere £45. NT Workstation V4 normally costs £263.64 plus 17.5 per cent VAT (value added tax). Said Gregory: "Even if they [distributors] are talking about OEM software, they should realise there isn't any Microsoft OEM software any more. That hasn't happened for two years." He said: "We have to protect our legitimate channel." Gregory warned both OEMs and the channel to beware. He said that Microsoft UK had succeeded in following up 700 such cases last year. Of those, Gregory said his unit had successfully pursued half. ®

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