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MS anti-piracy crew jumps on Basingstoke grey dealers

Resellers say it's bullying

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Updated Microsoft has pounced on two British PC resellers for allegedly selling counterfeit software. The resellers have called it bullying tactics and denied the charges.

Microsoft said today it had started proceedings against Pacific Computers Ltd and Taran Microsystems Ltd, both located in Basingstoke.

Pacific computers is accused of selling counterfeit software, including Windows 98 OEM packs, between July 2000 and February 2001.

But Pacific says it deals in a small amount of grey market MS software - which is not counterfeit - but which MS is unhappy has been 'mischannelled' (in MS speak).

"They say they have counterfeit software and they say the stuff came from us," said Pacific's Mike Murphy who refuted the charge. "We buy from certified MS suppliers," he said.

Murphy pointed out that all Microsoft's correspondence interchanges the word 'unlicensed' with 'counterfeit', and he said it was very dificult to get a straight answer out of the software giant as to whether the software they had seized actually was counterfeit. "We don't deny we sell a small amount of grey market software."

As well as targeting the company itself, Microsoft is also after its two directors Marc Roach and Richard Donaldson, and former directors and shareholders Andrew and Simon Miles.

Microsoft says Taran Microsystems sold fake copies of Office 97 Licence Paks, Windows 98 (OEM) and Office Professional 97 between January 2000 and January 2001. Again, Microsoft is taking action against directors and shareholders Andrew and Simon Miles.

Pacific Computers director Marc Roach this week denied the accusations.

"Microsoft is trying, by intimidation, to prevent us dealing in the lawful grey market," he told Microscope.

"We have been advised that the court proceedings are no more than a form of intimidation by the giant company over the small company and are an abuse of the legal process." ®

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