Updated Microsoft has set the law on the coppers of Hampshire after it discovered the force was using counterfeit copies of Microsoft Office Pro 97.
Officers from the City of London arrested four men yesterday in connection with the crime, reports The Sun. Three of the men work for Protocol Solutions, the integrators who set up the Hampshire force's IT system. The fourth man was an ex-employee of Protocol.
One of the men arrested was a former superintendent of Hampshire. All four have been released without charge.
The police also raided Protocol's offices in Fareham.
According to a Microsoft case study Hampshire Constabulary's system comprises '2,000 desktop personal computers running on 40 Windows NT Server-based server machines.'
The volume price for the Open License Pack of Microsoft Office Professional 97, according to MS' web site, is $412.00.
City of London cops were brought in as independent investigators and because of their expertise in complicated fraud crimes.
Happily Protocol has also used the Hampshire Constabulary deal as a case study. The site doesn't seem to be working that well but the company seems a bit busy trying to compile an official statement about the situation.
Protocol is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Partner, as well as a reseller of IBM, Compaq, Citrix and Sun kit.
The Microsoft case study has quotes "David Walker, IT Project Manager for Hampshire Constabulary, explaining the value of Microsoft Systems Management Server."
"Firstly it performs a regular hardware and software audit of systems connected to the network." It also allows "the management of application licenses, through which savings can be made..." Good stuff that Microsoft SMS.
On a happy note the Hampshire force may be elligible for full authorised versions of the software via Microsoft's latest anti-piracy initiative. This allows resellers and punters to send in their dodgy disks, along with receipts, and then provide full information on how they got the software. They then hope for the merciful Microsoft to rule they've been genuinely stitched up and so deserve replacement CDs. ®