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Using Office Home and Student in Business environment

Hi Guys,

A mate of mine owns a business and they have a SBS 2011 server.
Now the issue is that he is wanting to buy Office Home and Student for his 3 new PCs and these 3 PCs are hooked to domain.

I am trying to convince him not to do this as this is illegal, but he won't listen to me. He says he knows it is illegal but Microsoft are never going to find out and he doesn't wanna pay to get the proper version.

Could someone perhaps send me links I could forward to them as proof that Microsoft can disable the license as they will detect it is being used in a server environment. I remember reading this a while ago.

Also share with me your own experience.
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manav08
Asked:
manav08
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3 Solutions
 
Nagendra Pratap SinghCommented:
Microsoft may not be able to find out but it still remains illegal.
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Alan HardistyCommented:
Not sure they can/will disable the software, but the business owner is the one that faces jail if they get caught and the Federation Against Software Theft only need a tip off from someone to get them sniffing about.

Have a read of this:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mssmallbiz/archive/2008/12/01/9160762.aspx

Also - Outlook doesn't come as standard in the Student edition so they won't have email from their Exchange server.

Is it worth the small saving??
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manav08Author Commented:
I still believe they can check the number of uses or PC is joined to domain and block it. There is something I read a while ago
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Alan HardistyCommented:
Not sure that MS are able to do that - we are not living in the 'Big Brother' world of 1984 (George Orwell) just yet.

There is nothing that I am aware of that will technically block them from doing this - I know a few people doing the same.

As long as you have warned them (and make sure it is in writing), then you have covered your arse.  If they choose to ignore your advice, then that is their issue and you can't force them to change their mind-set.

We have a few customers that didn't listen to best advice from us and they usually come unstuck somewhere down the line.  They won't be the first company to ignore the licensing and no doubt won't be the last either.

Let's hope no-one makes an anonymous phone call to FAST (http://www.fastiis.org/)!
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manav08Author Commented:
Thanks Alan,

I remember you from a while ago answering my questions when I first joined IE :)
www.fastiis.org, does that apply to Australia as well??
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Alan HardistyCommented:
Excellent - I have been around a while and don't recall all those who I have helped, so glad I was able to help you then (and hopefully now).

I think FAST is international, so would cover the globe ;)

Here is an Australian link which is more relevant with a Report button:

http://www.microsoft.com/australia/piracy/
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'm sure australia has a similar organization... in the USA, it's the business software alliance (BSA).  And here you don't go to jail... you get sued out of existence. The BSA here advertises on radio encouraging employees and recently ex-employees to report their employer and potentially receive a reward.  If audited, the BSA sues you (if you're in violation) for at least 3x the value of the correct software... add legal fees to that and it can get VERY expensive.

I'd go further with the client (and have) - "I cannot support illegally used software - if you buy and use Home and Student, YOU have to install it and support it.  If anything comes up with it, I cannot work on it.  I will not jeopardize my livelihood in any way so you can save a couple of hundred dollars".
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manav08Author Commented:
Thanks guys,

I am pretty sure that in Australia if audited, you are given some time to pay for the licenses you own and that could mean paying a lot of money lump sum.
There could also be a penalty imposed.
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Alan HardistyCommented:
I would imagine that would be the case.  The threat of Prison usually helps deter people too.

Would be a shame if someone reported them (tee hee!!).

Lee - Nice comment:

"I'd go further with the client (and have) - "I cannot support illegally used software - if you buy and use Home and Student, YOU have to install it and support it.  If anything comes up with it, I cannot work on it.  I will not jeopardize my livelihood in any way so you can save a couple of hundred dollars"."
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Alan HardistyCommented:
Another link for you with a mention of a reward of up to AUS$ 5,000!

http://ww2.bsa.org/country/Report%20Piracy.aspx?sc_lang=en-AU&intcmp=irpnav000003
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manav08Author Commented:
aha..spot on. This is the organization that I was talking about. Have heard someone get audited but pretty sure they were let off after paying for whatever they owned. No penalties applied to them. That was back in 2003-2005. Wondering if it is still the same.
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manav08Author Commented:
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Alan HardistyCommented:
When I looked - Microsoft were in the list!

Even if they paid for what they should - it at least got them legal, which is where they should be.  The fact that they turned up and poked about might uncover other issues which would cost them to be resolved.  A fine might make them think about doing it again, but then after being audited, I would imagine most people would think twice before contemplating it again.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Microsoft is there - right after McAfee.

And there are still potential legal fees.
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manav08Author Commented:
yes they are. my bad.
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