Legitimate Microsoft resellers are losing millions of rands a month to rogue dealers selling unlicensed software at cut-throat prices. This is according to Melanie Botha, marketing and operations lead at Microsoft South Africa.
Botha explains that it is estimated that more than a third of all software in South Africa is pirated, and although the full impact is hard to quantify it is costing their channel partners a lot of revenue.
“Software piracy is literally taking millions of rands every month from the pockets of honest resellers, and that’s why it’s important for Microsoft to try and level the playing field for legitimate dealers,” says Botha.
Fighting Piracy and Microsoft’s Clean Network
Microsoft South Africa’s main approach to limiting piracy is a combination of enforcement and education, both in the channel and with consumers and small businesses.
“We’re constantly visiting dealers and monitoring online commerce sites for signs of counterfeit software, and where we find it, we act immediately – starting with a ‘cease and desist’ approach, but we do take legal action where repeated infringements make this necessary,” says Botha.
Microsoft SA further encourages dealers to join the “Clean Network” – a network of dealers who pledges to sell only genuine Microsoft products. A list of these Clean Dealers is available online.
“We also encourage consumers and small businesses to arm themselves with information on how to spot counterfeit software by visiting howtotell.com,” Botha concludes.