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37% of Business Users Unknowingly Purchased Pirated Windows and Office

No less than 37% of business users unknowingly acquired pirated copies of Microsoft software, including Windows and Office, according to statistics made available by the Redmond company. The software giant reviewed no less than 30 companies and suggested that business users with counterfeit software in their IT infrastructure were actually victims of bootleggers. In this context, the software giant has warned that even professionals can be tricked into taking counterfeit products as genuine, especially high-quality pirated software.

“It’s obvious that the strategy of software pirates is to create high-quality counterfeit software that is designed to deceive. The study reveals just how prevalent the problem is within the business environment. The best way to protect companies is by educating people about software piracy and providing tools to help identify and prevent the risks of counterfeit software before they purchase and install it in their workplace,” revealed Cori Hartje, senior director of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative.

Microsoft indicated that midsize businesses managed to spend no less than $112,439 on pirated software. Companies that had already purchased genuine software spent on average $10,222 for pirated or otherwise unlicensed products. The most consistent danger comes from increasingly sophisticated pirated materials that can easily be taken as genuine products. Microsoft has advised such customers to turn to solutions such as Windows Genuine Advantage and Windows Office Advantage in order to confirm that the software they acquired is indeed genuine.

“Small and midsize businesses become easy, unsuspecting victims of counterfeiters who take advantage of customers looking for a bargain on their software,” Hartje added. “Like larger enterprises, these businesses also wrestle with the demand to maintain and upgrade their software. But when they make their purchases from the least expensive vendor instead of a trusted advisor, they can easily end up with pirated products, ultimately resulting in greater losses through employee downtime and product replacement.”

Source: Softpedia

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, 2K Networking works to ensure that all of our clients have properly purchased and licensed Microsoft products ranging from the server to the desktop. Our staff also know how to determine the difference between pirated and 100% Genuine Microsoft products. As the information above discusses, businesses that do not have properly licensed software are usually unaware of this fact. Microsoft just last week updated it’s Microsoft Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy software that validates official copies of Windows XP to be able to detect illegal copies installed with newly stolen or faked product keys, or with new activation cracks.

Once Microsoft’s WGA software identifies a pirated copy of Windows XP it will notify the user with on screen pop up messages as well as background image messages. WGA will also disable the ability for Windows to update itself. This poses an extreme security risk to the user of that computer as well as the network that computer is connected to. Viruses, trojans and other malware often utilize unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows XP to infect a computer from websites, email attachments or downloaded files.

Should you find your computer or another on your network notifying you that it “Is not Genuine”, please contact 2K as soon as possible at 717-724-0537 to have one of our technicians investigate the issue and determine the best course of action to remedy the situation.

You can find more information on the recent WGA update from this ComputerWorld article.

Author: 2K Networking
Administrator at 2K Networking

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