Spam investigated by MS pirate catchers

Cut price Office 97 too good to be true

Microsoft plans to investigate a Web site selling MS Office 97 Pro for $89.95. The software giant was notified yesterday by The Register that email users were being spammed with details of this discounted jewel cased software. The offer, with an angelfire.com URL, was described as a "close out sale." "They will go fast!!" screamed the email. "Order today!!" MS Office 97 Pro was the sole product available for sale on this site. Customers were asked to send credit card details. When The Register contacted the company – Online Software - we were told that it was a clearing house for software and that everything was legal and above board. "I buy from wholesalers across the country. They buy from clearances – from companies that have gone bankrupt," said Kerry Miller, founder and MD of Online Software. The company also ships outside the US, including the UK. Miller said he assumed Microsoft was aware of his business, stressing that he bought goods from Microsoft authorised wholesalers. Jewel case is the clear plastic case that software comes in – without manuals. Miller said he also stocked the retail version – which included the manual. His company shipped this at $199.95. The standard retail price for this product in the UK is £404.43 ($618.80) plus VAT, according to Microsoft. ®

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