SHENZHEN, CHINA, 19 NOVEMBER 2010 - Singaporean consumers and people worldwide see real danger in using counterfeit software, according to a broad consumer survey by Microsoft.
More than 38,000 men and women in 20 countries around the world were surveyed about their perceptions of counterfeit software.
Microsoft claims that it has some of the clearest evidence yet that consumers find counterfeit software not as safe to use as genuine software. Consumers are concerned about data loss and ID theft and offer support for government and industry to take action against counterfeiters.
About 70 per cent of consumers believe genuine software is more secure, more stable and is easier to keep up-to-date.
Microsoft notes one TS Wong from Singapore who has suffered because of fake software.
I am one of the victims that purchased a counterfeit copy from the online forum. I am fortunate another sharp online citizen spotted the fakes and alerted Microsoft resulting in me getting my money back, said Wong. This is a real lesson for me and I will be a lot more diligent in making purchases, especially over the Internet, in the future. The moment I got my money back, I went and purchased an original Microsoft Office Home and Business Edition from a reputable outlet in Sim Lim Square. As the software is for my business, I am not prepared to take the risk with counterfeit or pirated software.
It is not easy to differentiate counterfeit software from genuine due to the presence of high-quality fakes in the market. About 73 per cent of consumers said they would choose genuine software given the choice.
More than two-thirds realise they have to be on the lookout or they could mistakenly buy counterfeit software. Microsoft notes that it has received several complaints about counterfeit software from consumers since 2005 through Microsoft's How to Tell website.
The results of this survey show there is still a real need for the software industry and government to educate consumers about counterfeit software, said Tarun Sawney, senior director of anti-piracy of the international software trade organisation Business Software Alliance. Consumers have clearly been burnt by counterfeit software. They know it's harmful, and in fact, it's hurting people everywhere. But they need the tools and the knowledge to keep themselves safe from those risks.
Microsoft is making efforts to stop software counterfeiting and makes a significant investment each year into educational resources to help consumers protect themselves. It also introduces new technologies that make counterfeiting software more difficult, and work with governments to enforce laws against software counterfeiters and bring them to justice.
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