Alison Fleming, Correspondent
August 18, 1995
HONG KONG (CNN )-- Windows '95 isn't even on the market yet, and already sales are brisk. Black market sales, that is -- counterfeit copies of Microsoft's much-balleyhooed new operating system have found their way into the hands of computer users.
Most of the pirated programs come from China, despite a Sino- U.S. deal protecting intellectual property rights.
Chinese customs offficials are fighting back. Hong Kong's customs and excise department is currently training a team of 23 officers whose purpose will be to ferret out increasingly sophisticated software pirates.
"Most important of all, we're trying to build up more effective channels with our mainland counterparts," said Ronnie Tsang with the Hong Kong Customs Dept.
Microsoft has a plan of its own. Besides warning potential customers that only the original Windows '95 program will contain all of the program's bells and whistles, the company promises swift and concise action against pirates and dealers who attempt to load pirated software onto computers.
But the battle against bootleg software, never an easy one, is complicated by a huge difference in cost. Windows '95, when it is released, will retail at about $100, while counterfeit copies sell from $6-13.
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