BRITISH owners of pirated copies of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system can trade them in for the real thing as part of a bid by the software giant to fight counterfeiting.
Microsoft said the deal would help it fight the proliferation of "high-quality counterfeit versions" of its software.
In Australia, Microsoft had run a similar program for some time, "whereby we will replace copies of our software which are found to be counterfeit", a spokeswoman said.
In Britain, users unsure of the legitimacy of their Windows XP software could submit it to Microsoft for analysis, along with sales receipts and other documentation. Software found to be counterfeit would be replaced.
Microsoft said the project would help it gather intelligence on counterfeiting and "work with the authorities to act decisively against illegal traders".
The offer is open until December 31 and applies to pre-installed versions of Windows XP bought before November 1. It is limited to five submissions per person.
Microsoft said no decision had been made on whether to extend the exchange scheme to other countries.
From Australian IT/Associated Press