Customers that purchased Handii Tablet PCs pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional need to contact the Australia, Queensland-based company and make sure that the operating system on their device is genuine.
In case that their tablet is running a counterfeit copy of Windows 7 Professional, Handii will provide them with a genuine Windows 7 Professional license, free of charge, the Redmond company informed.
Microsoft Australia announced on June 2nd, 2011 that it had settled a Federal Court of Australia action against Handii, involving the tablet manufacturer selling devices running unlicensed Windows 7 Professional.
Handii will not only pay compensation of AUD$70,000 to Microsoft, but will also replace all pirated copies of Windows 7 with genuine ones.
“This is a situation where we believe Handii’s customers would have been under the impression that they were purchasing genuine copies of Windows 7 Professional,” Clayton Noble, Legal Counsel at Microsoft Australia, said.
“In these circumstances, it’s important for Microsoft to take action to ensure that the purchasing public gets the genuine products it expects, and we thank Handii for its cooperation and collaboration in this matter.”
The software giant advised all customers which acquired Handii-branded PCs pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional to contact the computer manufacturer and either make sure that their license is genuine, or get a genuine one free of charge.
Microsoft underlined that customers with Handii tablets preinstalled with the Windows 7 Home Premium SKU are not impacted by this counterfeit issue, and no action is required on their part.
“Counterfeit software can contain dangerous viruses, spyware and other malware that can have a large impact on consumers. Microsoft’s tests of software available on online pirate software sites have shown that 35% of the counterfeit software offered contained harmful code. This harmful code can lead to identity theft, increased system instability and data loss. Counterfeiting also contributes to the funding of organized criminal activity,” Noble added.
According to Microsoft, Handii is only one example of a larger crackdown against a counterfeit software piracy network spanning across Australia, Malaysia and Singapore in the first half of April 2011.
An investigation that lasted half a year pointed out that counterfeit Microsoft Windows software and Certificates of Authenticity were being provided by counterfeiters in the three countries mentioned above, some of which via Handii tablets.
While interlocutory injunctions were obtained against Handii in the Federal Court of Australia, local authorities raided resellers of Handii computers in Singapore and Malaysia, working in concert to seize thousands of pieces of pirated software as well as Handii tablets with preinstalled with bootlegged Windows 7 Professional.
“Criminal proceedings are ongoing in Singapore and Malaysia against a separately owned and operated distributor of Handii tablet PCs,” Microsoft informed.