An update released today from Microsoft shows that work carried out as part of its "Keep IT Real" initiative has been successful, lowering the UK piracy rate of Windows XP from 16.7% to 12.4% over the last seven months.
"Feet on the Street" and Software Asset Management (SAM) audit teams have been working together since February 2006 to bring about this result, with SAM audit teams finding more than 5,000 units of pirated software across 13 customer sites, and "Feet on the Street" uncovering seven illegal traders, all of which are now being sued by Microsoft.
The initial goal of the "Keep IT Real" programme was to lower the Windows XP piracy rate in the UK down to 11.7% over a three year period. This update therefore shows that Microsoft is just 0.7% away from reaching this target.
Working closely alongside customers and resellers has been the key factor in producing this outcome. "Feet on the Street" have increased the number of visits made to UK PC builders to ensure they remain up-to-date on the terms and conditions of Microsoft licensing agreements, whilst the SAM teams have been helping customers to centralise their buying and chose software licenses appropriate to their needs. To date, this sort of assistance has saved companies an average of 30% on desktop software licences alone each year.
Michala Alexander, Microsoft's Head of Anti-Piracy in the UK, is already looking to set new goals for the initiative. "As we've achieved so much in such a short space of time, we are likely to reach our initial target in the next three to six months. Microsoft Office is another problem area for us, and this is something that we are likely to target next."