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Microsoft sues UK shop Comet for 94K alleged Windows fakes

updated 09:15 am EST, Wed January 4, 2012

Microsoft accuses UK retailer Comet of mass piracy

Microsoft on Wednesday sued British retailer Comet for allegedly committing mass piracy. It claimed the store made and sold 94,000 "counterfeit" copies of Windows XP and Vista as recovery discs. The sales were "unfair to customers," Microsoft's associate general counsel David Finn claimed, implying that customers didn't concern themselves with or know that the discs weren't from Microsoft.

"We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products -- and our customers deserve better, too," he argued.

Comet's parent company Kesa Electricals denied the accusations and said it would "defend its position vigorously." It threw the claims back at Microsoft and noted that the developer's own policies, as well those of its PC partners, had made the Windows experience worse. Because Microsoft and PC builders had stopped supplying Windows discs with PCs in 2007 but didn't have any other way of restoring a PC if the recovery partition was lost, buyers were stranded and had to either send the PC in to the designer for a restoration or buy a new copy of Windows. The ad hoc recovery discs were a solution to something Microsoft had taken away, Kesa said.

Microsoft's approach comes in sharp contrast to Apple's. The Mac designer provided full OS install discs well after most Windows PC rivals stopped and only began curbing the practice itself with the release of Mac OS X Lion. From the July 2011 MacBook Air onwards, every new Mac without a disc still has a Lion Recovery option that lets owners re-download and install the OS on any working drive. Microsoft has downloadable Windows 7 installs but still has no way of recovering with a download.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. richardh99

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    Entirely unsurprised...

    Comet have proven themselves to be a bunch of uncaring and unprincipled pirates, so no news there. I've not used them for years since making a polite complaint about a faulty mouse, at which point the manager of their Guildford store started screaming at me and had his security guards try to beat me up. The police intervened (thankfully) and, funnily enough, I've not used Comet since.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    oh, right.....

    Microsoft's approach comes in sharp contrast to Apple's. The Mac designer provided full OS install discs well after most Windows PC rivals stopped and only began curbing the practice itself with the release of Mac OS X Lion.

    Wow, so this is where the PC crowd was ahead of the curve and Apple was behind the times, right? Oh, no, because Apple is never wrong, so it just shows how those cheap PC guys are cutting corners, yeah that's it.

    From the July 2011 MacBook Air onwards, every new Mac without a disc still has a Lion Recovery option that lets owners re-download and install the OS on any working drive.

    Oh, now they're ahead of the curve! Download your OS, now who needs physical media?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    oh, right.....

    If they were really concerned about their customers, why didn't they just provide the discs as a bonus at purchase time, created from the restore partition of the computer?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    One problem

    From the July 2011 MacBook Air onwards, every new Mac without a disc still has a Lion Recovery option that lets owners re-download and install the OS on any working drive.

    Unless you bought a new Mac after Lion's release but before the Mac model itself was updated. At that point (say, with a MBP), you'll have NO MEDIA and the download option WILL NOT WORK. So you also are screwed (and not in a good way).

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