Microsoft takes aim at license dodging users

Companies with Volume License Keys (VLKs) should watch out, according to recent statements from Microsoft's license police monitors. Spokespeople for Microsoft say they're on the lookout for situations which don't add up, such as companies with several server licenses and a few hundred employees but with only a small number of client access licenses.

According to PC Advisor magazine, a popular outlet in the UK, "Most companies comply, but up to 3 percent don't. Under the new programme, if Microsoft doesn't receive a response after 14 days, the company will send a succession of three "escalation" letters over three weeks. The last two letters warn the case could be turned over the BSA, which could pursue lega l action."

The BSA claims as much as 27 percent of software used by businesses is unlicensed and, when it finds violations, issues fines that are many times the cost of valid licenses. Audits are no fun, and given the complexities of software licensing for large numbers of employees, it's not unusual to find small discrepancies in any large audit.

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