this is so retarded... its so for two reasons
1. Microsoft cant manage to get its people what they need to get the job done.
2. people dont hold MS responsible for its employee's actions... they are responsible... no matter how you try and swing it...
then again... thats just like my opinion, man.
Far more likely (especially given the source of the rumours...) is that someone is blackmailing Microsoft to give them a load of cash or face bad press...
Yes, many companies make occasional mistakes in keeping track of the number of licensed copies of software they own.
Yes, many employees will use software not licensed to the company for their work. Sometimes this is pirated stuff, sometimes it is not.
If companies are good neighbours they handle things among themselves though.
I did a lot of consultancy for a major banking concern here several years ago. During an internal audit we discovered we had 2500 more workstations in use than we had on file (older machines that had been listed as destroyed but hadn't been, machines that had by error not been listed, etc).
That of course meant we had without knowing it gone about 2000 units over our licenses for quite a bit of software. Instead of crying foul and sueing us the matter was handled silently and to everyone's liking.
At another major customer the sysadmins on the project I was involved in installed pirated versions of many programs on users' machines without approval or prior knowledge from project management (let alone company management).
When I told the project manager (I found out when I saw one doing it) he went ballistic.
As a consultant I also always carried a laptop with my private licenses to a lot of software for use if a customer didn't own a license to a tool I needed (which happened a lot).
If such software leaves traces on a customer's servers or in his files that doesn't mean they use pirated software...
Last but not least at yet another customer they were using cracked versions of Autocad on some machines that could for safety reasons could not use the hardware locks provided with the software. The licensed copies were stored and marked in a safe so were available.
The machines were installed in an environment where it was impossible to mount the hardware locks on the backs of the machines because of explosion danger.
With current protection systems that is usually no longer needed and I guess that had they contacted the manufacturer at the time they'd have gotten a modified version...