Microsoft accuses Comet of mass Windows piracy

Microsoft is accusing Comet of software piracy over 94,000 allegedly counterfeit Windows recovery discs.

Microsoft is accusing Comet of mass software piracy. The Windows-wrangler has kicked off a legal battle claiming the British retailer made and sold 94,000 fake Windows recovery discs.

Microsoft says Comet created the counterfeit copies of Windows and sold them to customers buying computers with Windows Vista and Windows XP installed. And we thought 2011 had thrown up some bonkers news stories!

Comet, which is being sold for £2 by French owner Kesa , is accused of making the discs somewhere, somewhere in a factory in Hampshire. Comet says it was providing the discs to customers because Microsoft had stopped supplying recovery discs with Windows computers -- and reckons that's no different to customers making their own backup discs.

Microsoft is notoriously bereft of a sense of humour when it comes to the authenticity of Windows. The software giant's brief said, "Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom. Comet's actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products -- and our customers deserve better, too."

Comet counters it "firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers. It believes its customers had been adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs with each new Microsoft Operating System based computer. Accordingly Comet is satisfied that it has a good defence to the claim and will defend its position vigorously."

Comet assures customers that recovery discs will continue to work, although Microsoft directs you to its software-checking site howtotell.com to see if you have a genuine copy of Windows.

Have you bought a Comet computer with a dodgy disc? Is Comet correct, or is it taking the mickey out of Microsoft? Counterfeit a comment or fake it on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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