RealTime IT News

Microsoft Sues 20 More

Pirates, beware. Microsoft announced another 20 lawsuits today against counterfeit software distributors.

As part of a broader company initiative that led to a sting in July, Microsoft's lawsuits target 20 U.S. companies in nine states: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Texas.

The companies allegedly distributed either counterfeit software or software components or participated in hard-disk loading.

Hard-disk loading is the installation of pirated software on computers sold to unsuspecting businesses or consumers.

"Microsoft is determined to protect its intellectual property, while also helping protect consumers and honest resellers from the deceptive and dangerous practices of counterfeiting and hard-disk loading," said Microsoft senior attorney Mary Jo Schrade in a statement.

As a part of the Genuine Software Initiative, which Microsoft set up in March, the company announced research findings from a forensic analysis of counterfeit versions of Microsoft Windows XP acquired in 17 countries around the world.

The results, from a company that loses profit when people pirate its software, suggest that using pirated software is bad for your computer.

According to Microsoft, of the 348 loaded disks studied, 34 percent could not be installed.

Microsoft also said 43 percent of the pirated software includes additional binary code that might result in denial-of-service attacks, bypass of password protection and application memory corruption.