On several occasions, the topic of what is Microsoft doing to help you, our legitimate channel partners, compete against those who choose to sell counterfeit, mis-channeled, of illegitimate software.  Well, we have taken several new steps, including the filing of eight new lawsuits against companies who chose to do this. 

In addition, for all of you system builders who do offer our products legitimately, we have put together a new online course to explain many of the new items we have put in place to help combat these types of activities in the channel.  Hosted by experts from Microsoft's US System Builder Channel, this information-packed session will get in-depth on the new anti-piracy legislation, changes to Product Activation, Windows Genuine Advantage program, the value of using genuine OEM System Builder Windows software, and more.

You can register to view this session at: http://www.msreadiness.com/recordedeventregister.asp?eid=1646
You will need to login to the System Builder site in order to view this session since it is for those who sell our OEM software.  If you are looking to start offering legitimate Microsoft OEM software for the computer systems you build and sell, please look at the Microsoft OEM System Builder Program at: http://www.microsoft.com/oem to get your User Name.

Also, remember that offering Microsoft OEM software without the proper qualifying qualifying hardware is also an illegitimate sale of OEM software.  There is a clause in most OEM licenses that states, “If this software was acquired without the proper qualifying hardware, you cannot use this license.”  In essence, the license is useless and your customer wasted any money the spent in purchasing that software if it was not purchased with the qualifying hardware.  If you see people offering Microsoft OEM software without the proper qualifying hardware, or participating in what appears to be illegitimate offerings, please report this at: http://www.microsoft.com/piracy or piracy@microsoft.com.

As a refresher, here is the qualifying hardware for legitimate OEM Microsoft software:

- The “qualifying hardware” that must be sold with any OEM Microsoft Office software is a fully-assembled computer system.  Selling OEM Microsoft Office with anything less should be reported to Microsoft and the license would be useless for anyone purchasing it.

- The “qualifying hardware” that must be sold with any OEM Microsoft Server software (Such as SBS, or Windows Server, etc.) is a fully-assembled computer system.  Selling OEM Microsoft Server software with anything less should be reported to Microsoft and the license would be useless for anyone purchasing it.

- The “qualifying hardware” that must be sold with any OEM Microsoft Desktop Operating System software (Such as Windows XP Professional) is a non-peripheral hardware component (such as a hard drive, motherboard, memory, CPU, etc.).  Selling OEM Microsoft Desktop Operating System software with anything less should be reported to Microsoft and the license would be useless for anyone purchasing it.

 

Also, remember that Microsoft OEM software cannot be advertised separately from the qualifying hardware it needs to be sold with.  So as an example, if you see OEM Microsoft Office listed for sale, it must be listed with the fully-assembled computer system that it is being sold with.  If it is not, please report this at: http://www.microsoft.com/piracy or piracy@microsoft.com.


You can also view the short Video on the Microsoft Small Business Channel Community Site under the Common Questions and Misconceptions section that will walk you through the proper qualifying hardware for Microsoft OEM software.

Microsoft wants to help you in your efforts to compete against those who try to mislead your customers with “too good to be true” offers and illegitimate software sales.  By working together, we can continue to take steps to crack down on these companies and individuals to help level the playing field for all of you who make your living offering legitimate Microsoft software and services for your customers. 

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Small Business Development Manager – U.S. Central Region