Microsoft has filed 52 lawsuits around the world, in addition to referring another 22 cases to law enforcement agencies in 22 different countries. This is part of its global antipiracy efforts, with all 74 cases involving either Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Office.

According to Ars Technica:

Of the 52 lawsuits filed, 15 involve what Microsoft describes as the “largest-ever commercial counterfeit syndicate.” That group operated in China and was broken up by law enforcement officials therein that country earlier this year. Software counterfeited by the group found its way to store shelves and onto the PCs of unwitting consumers; Microsoft estimated its retail value at over $500 million.

Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) is credited by Microsoft for helping crack the counterfeiting rings. The investigations were triggered by the counterfeit software’s inability to pass WGA checks. Certainly, it does make it easier for Microsoft to start getting a handle on international large-scale piracy operations.

Do you reckon we will be seeing cheaper Microsoft Windows and Office software now that piracy’s under control?