HW Trading case

Microsoft said on Monday that its case against Samir Abdalla of HW Trading was not about “the grey trade” at all, but the “alleged source and sale of illegal, unlicensed Microsoft software”.We first wrote about HW Trading and its managing director, Abdalla on Friday after it emerged that Abdalla was going to Europe with a complaint that Microsoft charges at least a third more for its software in Europe than it does in the US.

Microsoft said on Monday that its case against Samir Abdalla of HW Trading was not about “the grey trade” at all, but the “alleged source and sale of illegal, unlicensed Microsoft software”.

We first wrote about HW Trading and its managing director, Abdalla on Friday after it emerged that Abdalla was going to Europe with a complaint that Microsoft charges at least a third more for its software in Europe than it does in the US.

Abdalla’s action was in response to Microsoft taking his company to court. In an email to ZDNet UK on Monday, Microsoft said it could clarify the situation and argued that the issue was not about grey trading.

“The case filed against Samir Abdalla and his company, HW Trading BV is not about grey trade. The case against Samir Abdalla and HW Trading BV is for the alleged source and sale of illegal, unlicensed Microsoft software, including Student Media that is licensed for use only by students under special academic agreements between Microsoft, schools and governments,” Microsoft said in its statement.

It continued, “It is very important to address this kind of illegal software distribution to level the playing field for Microsoft’s legitimate distribution partners and ensure that customers receive full value for what they pay for.”

Microsoft in responding to Samir Abdalla is taking a familiar path. Since they, presumably, feel that they have proof that Abdalla has used illegal software, in this case, they say, software that has been passed off as student, or other, cut-price software when by rights the full cost should have been paid, then the company feels it is quite correct to pursue the action.

The first part of this, may may be true, a court will decide at a later date. People who deal in illegal software should be stopped from doing it. However, as is also familiar, in answering one point, Microsoft has chosen to simply ignore the bigger picture. Why is there such a massive difference in the price of software between different countries and why should people who by chance live in a high price country be expected to cough up the money and pay their license fees without complaint?

They will, of course, in the main do this as Microsoft’s market share attests. After all, don’t we all. But sometimes one cannot help wondering why?

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