Tech Strategy Trends

Feb 14 2010   10:19PM GMT

One-Third of Pirated Windows 7 Contains Malware

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Microsoft has developed an update for Windows 7 designed to detect more than 70 known activation exploits and attempt to identify counterfeit copies of Windows 7.

Obviously, users who knowingly use pirated versions of Windows 7 will not apply the optional update, but what about those who think their Windows 7 is legitimate? Well, those who think their Windows 7 is legitimate might still shy away from the update because they don’t see any value–to them rather than Microsoft–in identifying that fact.

That might be true to an extent, however, that super-cheap upgrade to Windows 7 might come with some extra bells and whistles you didn’t plan on. “Media Surveillance, an anti-piracy solutions company based in Germany, recently downloaded more than five hundred pirated copies of Windows 7 (and Windows activation exploits) and found that 32% contained malicious code.”

Part of the apprehension by users is based on not wanting to end up paying twice for Windows 7–once for the counterfeit copy, and again to replace it. A Microsoft spokesperson addressed that issue. “Microsoft does have a program to help customers who are victims of software piracy. Additionally the company will sometimes provide a free or discounted version of Windows to customers who report counterfeit products.

Microsoft encourages customers –enterprise, consumer, or SMB – who feel they have been victimized, to report their experience through or via Microsoft’s How To Tell Web site, here:

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