Microsoft has announced that it has reached settlements with 12 traders caught selling illegal software.

Settlements have successfully been reached with 12 resellers, who all admitted to hard disk loading and selling software illegally.

The sellers were named as: Charisma Computers of Manchester; 1Hr Computers of Denton; Boss Systems of Duns; Annecto Computers of Droylsden; Computer Warehouse of Manchester; Hi-Tec of Cheadle; Intellect Computers of Whitefield; Swift Computers of Wellington; Comp-u-Tel of Thatcham; ICN Computers of Newbury; PWRTech of Nottingham; and Unique Computers (UK) of Leicester.


Scott Dodds, general manager of small to medium enterprises and partners group at Microsoft UK, said: “Historically, many in the channel have seen piracy as a relatively low priority – an irritation that could be ignored or put up with as long as business was good.


“Microsoft is working hard to stamp out unfair competition that puts pressure on resellers' margins, and also threatens to drive them out of business. Most resellers can't afford to live with even small losses to illegal traders, who will almost certainly be undercutting them.”


Graham Arthur, anti-piracy attorney at Microsoft UK, said: “Everyone in the channel, from distributors down to local computer shops, needs to move piracy up their agenda. If partners see suspicious buying patterns, or `too good to be true´ prices, they should tell us and we will investigate and act swiftly and decisively to defend the livelihoods of our reputable partners.”