68% of Brits planning on making Christmas savings with knock-off software, say Microsoft

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According to new research commisioned by Microsoft, as many as 68% of Brits planning to buy PC software this year are considering purchasing pirated versions in a bid to save some cash. It’s an issue close to Micrsoft’s heart, and for good reason; alongside counterfeit copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on DVD, their Windows 7 operating system is expected to be the item most affected by knock-off sales.

Michaela Wardell, Head of Piracy at Microsoft says: “For years, British consumers have been ripped off by dodgy dealers selling counterfeit software. This trend is set to continue if we don’t raise awareness of the increasingly sophisticated methods employed by the counterfeiters.

“Over the last 18 months, counterfeiters have changed tack, we’re now seeing more pirated products being advertised at higher prices. These higher price points, whilst still highly discounted, appear more realistic to consumers seeking out a Christmas bargain.

“Unlike a pirated DVD or counterfeit handbag, the negative effects of counterfeit software are far greater. People are opening themselves up to a host of problems such as identity theft and data loss. These are serious issues and it’s absolutely vital that consumers are on the look-out and checking before they buy.”

An interesting fact to come out of the research? Men are 20% more likely to pick-up dodgy software than women.

Gerald Lynch