Comet gets a rocket from Microsoft

  TopCat® 15:34 PM 04 Jan 12
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Answered

Accuses it of producing and selling counterfeit Windows software to their PC and laptop customers. A statement from Comet is awaited.

If the charges are proven, then this would mean very serious trouble for the company, right? TC. newsstory here

  bremner 15:41 PM 04 Jan 12

Guardian Article

More detail in the Guardian

  mooly 17:50 PM 04 Jan 12

Very interesting...something I shall follow closely.

  ajm 19:10 PM 04 Jan 12

As far as I can see, Comet is offering a service and rightly charging £14.99 for it.

A customer buys a PC/Laptop that has a hidden partition with the recovery software and as a service, an IT provider or IT retail shop offers to make the recovery cds and charges for the service that as customer can either accept or decline.

  morddwyd 21:13 PM 04 Jan 12

As I read it, these discs could only have been used with an already existing, and activated, product key which had already been paid for.

The offence, if any, is, at best, technical.

  dms_05 13:20 PM 05 Jan 12

It seems Comet were offering a service that the computer suppliers had stopped (to save money). So Comet were charging a modest fee to new users to make sure they had backup CD's. As I see it both the computer manufacturer and Microsoft were cutting corners at the expense of the user and Comet were supplying a necessary service to the user. Well done Comet! Microsoft should be ashamed.

  bremner 14:38 PM 05 Jan 12

From what the legal experts has said so long as Comet made no extra economic benefit then they will be in the clear.

How they will justify £15 per disc we will have to wait and see.

  Mr Mistoffelees 14:51 PM 05 Jan 12

"How they will justify £15 per disc we will have to wait and see."

When my partner bought a new Dell laptop, early last year after a small windfall, she was charged £5 for a, Dell customised, Windows 7 recovery disk. £14.99 seems a high price.

  interzone55 16:53 PM 05 Jan 12

£14.99 is a positive bargain.

I've recently been charged £35 for a recovery CD for a Toshiba laptop. There was a CD provided with the laptop, but it's been lost in the three house moves since I bought it five years ago.

Now as I wanted to pass the laptop onto my partner's mother I wanted to do a full system recovery.

As my only choices were £35 for the recovery CD or £80+ for an OEM copy of Windows they had me over a barrel.

by the way, this is the first expense I've had since buying the laptop in 2006, probably the most reliable piece of hardware I've ever bought.

  interzone55 16:58 PM 05 Jan 12

Back to the original story though.

Unless Comet paid a licence fee to duplicate the recovery software they were making illegal copies.

When I worked at Time the company wrote their own ghosting software, so they were free to make as many copies of the recovery CDS as they liked and I sent them on to customers who asked for them FOC, but the driver software for printers etc were copyrighted, so if a customer needed these we had to make a charge for them, we couldn't even put the driver files on our website without permission, so we generally posted links to the files on the manufacturers sites

  ams4127 16:15 PM 06 Jan 12
Answer

Surely the point here is that a computer manufacturer is permitted (by Microsoft) to provide a backup disk if requested by the customer.

Comet is a retailer and is not allowed to do so.

That IMHO is where they have come unstuck.

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