Brits Get Replacements for Phony XP

Microsoft will swap out phony copies of Windows XP for the real thing, but only in the U.K., the company said on Wednesday.

In response to the discovery of high-quality counterfeit versions of Microsoft Windows XP, the company launched its Windows XP Counterfeit Project, an initiative of its Product Identification Service that lets customers submit suspicious Microsoft software for verification.

Counterfeit software will be replaced free, but the program is only for UK residents who bought Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition or Professional Edition Operating System pre-installed on a new computer before November 1, 2004. Further details are posted on the Microsoft U.K. site (

“This is a great opportunity for users to confirm the authenticity of Windows XP software whilst helping gather vital information about illegal traders,” Alex Hilton, License Compliance Manager at Microsoft, said in a statement.

Microsoft hopes to combat sophisticated piracy rings that counterfeit not only the software itself, but also documentation, seals, labels and certificates of authenticity. In September, FBI agents in the U.S. seized $87 million worth of counterfeit software and components; $30 million worth of them bore the Microsoft brand.

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