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Pirating Software? Choose Microsoft! 264

Posted by Zonk
from the where-do-you-want-to-keycrack-today dept.
An anonymous reader writes "ArsTechnica is running a story regarding comments by Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes, who had a pithy comment on the subject of software piracy. His view is that, should software piracy occur, Microsoft's desire is that the pirated software should be theirs. Potentially, in the future, they could then convert the illegal users from the 'dark side' into legit users who obtain licenses. 'We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products. What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software.' Obviously Microsoft prefers the market to use their software even if it's pirated, rather than the alternative: the use of free software."
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Pirating Software? Choose Microsoft!

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  • The link (Score:5, Funny)

    by thammoud (193905) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:23AM (#18330909)
    missed the first couple of sentences.
  • by dattaway (3088) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:25AM (#18330923) Homepage Journal
    Pirate away!

    But most people don't like the settlements and license compliance audits that eventually catch up to them.
    • Death to pirates! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:52AM (#18331289)
      Which is precisely why Free Software/Open Source folk need to be even more anal retentive than the BSA regarding software piracy. Zero tolerance! Report em all. Take piracy off the table as an option and we can make some major inroads from people who can't afford Microsoft and other commercial products now. And later they wouldn't bother switching from something that they already know and is free.

      There really isn't an excuse to pirate anymore. In days gone by there just wasn't an option for people who couldn't afford software that cost far more than the hardware, especially in the developing world, starving students, etc. But now we can offer those people a safe, legal and effective alternative. Piracy is just unfair competition for us. :) So lets help stamp it out. Microsoft wants to make WGA even more locked down? Great! How can we help!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Shemmie (909181)
        Interesting view - shaft them, then they'll come to us! The Open Source movement adopt the Microsoft mantra?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Shemmie (909181)
          Just to add to my post, for fear of being marked troll - as a student, I've long argued piracy is good for the various companies. I'm just doing a module at Uni on various Macromedia and Autodesk tools - and to do so, I know of 'some students', who have pirated the various programs.

          If said students then become proficient in their use, when they've got their degrees, they become skilled workers, trained in the use of specific tools, and often in positions to influence company purchase. Thus, piracy in the
          • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @10:37AM (#18331981)
            > and to do so, I know of 'some students', who have pirated the various programs.

            Find a vendor who doesn't offer a student discount. Oh, you don't want the crippled student version? It does everything you need to pass the course, so don't use that watermark on every page to justify stealing the full edition.

            > please don't give me Gimp when I ask for Photoshop.

            If you can AFFORD Photoshop, great! Many people who edit photographs professionally believe the price is more than offset by their increased productivity. But if you can't afford Photoshop you have no right to steal it. Don't you even try justifying it either. Try Paint Shop Pro if you just can't learn The GIMP. PSP is well regarded and much less expensive.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Odiumjunkie (926074)
              > If you can AFFORD Photoshop, great! Many people who edit photographs professionally believe the
              > price is more than offset by their increased productivity. But if you can't afford Photoshop you
              > have no right to steal it. Don't you even try justifying it either.

              Er, why not?

              If you can't AFFORD Photoshop, who loses out if you use the WAREZ(TM) edition instead? Perhaps the developers of the GIMP should sue you because they lost out on a "sale"?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Maxo-Texas (864189)
              Yes but the point of his argument is that right now the publishers are having it both ways.

              They allow (in the past *ENCOURAGED*) piracy among certain users to gain the benefit of the "network effect".

              The day everyone has to pay the appropriate price for microsoft software is the day they start losing.

              Win3.11 was *given* to pirates to pass around for free back in the day.

              Basically, companies that sell to businesses don't mind home users pirating (because they wouldn't buy it anyway), they get the network eff
          • There are some high-dollar proprietary applications used in my classes, particularly MATLAB, Mathematica, Visual Studio, and SAS/SPSS. Usually one can get away with using any program that accomplishes the function, such as using GNU Octave and R instead of MATLAB and SAS/SPSS and a text editor + GCC in place of Visual Studio (we did basic terminal/CLI apps, not GUI ones.) The instructors would even generally point out that there were free, legal programs like Octave, R, and GCC available for people who did
            • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2 AT earthshod DOT co DOT uk> on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @12:39PM (#18334315)
              You aren't screwing The System at all by pirating a proprietary application that you were never going to buy anyway. All you're doing is proving you're dependent on The System. And they already know that.

              If, on the other hand, you actually applied yourself to learning how to use a competing, Open Source application instead of their proprietary one (sure, the keyboard shortcuts and menu items may not be in the same place, and the procedures to accomplish certain tasks might be a little different -- are you really telling me you are so fucking thick that you can't learn the new ones?), you would be doing something to screw The System. You'd be breaking your dependency on The System.

              Microsoft have driven competitors out of business by tolerating piracy. Thanks to closed protocols which make for poor interoperability, it's more attractive to use a Microsoft product than a competing product. And ease of piracy means that, for those who are prepared to do it, all software is effectively available gratis; price is not an issue. Thus, "everybody" pirates MS Office, and vendors of alternative office software lose out on sales. Now, if it were technically impossible (or just highly undesirable) to pirate MS Office, then maybe we'd see competing office suites.

              Open Source Software throws another spanner in the works. Sun can't be driven out of business by Microsoft's tolerance of piracy, since their bottom line isn't affected by people not using OpenOffice.org; which is why Microsoft hate OSS so.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I've long argued piracy is good for the various companies

            I agree. I think part of the reason MS Office is ubiquitous was that it was so easy to pirate back in the day. As a result it got huge traction in offices and homes. Now it's the 'defacto standard.' If it hadn't been as easily pirated I think users (particularly at home) would have sought out other (cheaper) options like MS-Works, WordPerfect, StarOffice, OpenOffice etc. and MS-Office wouldn't have the market share it has today.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Dogtanian (588974)

            I've long argued piracy is good for the various companies

            Indeed.... and I'd daresay that the article summary only gives half the story. Specifically, that not only "should software piracy occur, Microsoft's desire is that the pirated software should be theirs", but that given the choice between someone legally purchasing a rival's software or pirating MS's, MS would rather that person pirated *their* software.

            This is just speculation, and I wouldn't expect them to admit it; it would reveal their mentality and justify piracy, which they can't be seen to be doin

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Hal_Porter (817932)
            However, with no offense intended, please don't give me Gimp when I ask for Photoshop.

            Serif Photo Plus [freeserifsoftware.com] is free as in beer, and it does 80% of what Photoshop does.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jmorris42 (1458) *
          > Interesting view - shaft them, then they'll come to us!

          Not at all. But remember, we DO believe in copyrights, it is what makes our licenses work. If we expect people to obey the GPL it isn't much of a mental leap to believe people should honor Microsoft's copyright. Forget the EULA, it is worthless and almost certainly unenforcable outside of site licenses which are real signed contracts. But Windows/Office ARE copyrighted works and people shouldn't be bootlegging em.

          If someone tries to justify it
        • by frdmfghtr (603968)

          Interesting view - shaft them, then they'll come to us!The Open Source movement adopt the Microsoft mantra?

          It is an interesting viewpoint, but I don't think the poster is advocating "shafting" users. The viewpoint being advocated, even if it did seem to be seasoned with a little bit of sarcasm, is sound--the enforcement of copyright. The copyright laws that protect Microsoft code are the same laws that protect F/OSS.

          By advocating the copyright of contributers to F/OSS, you are also advocating the copyri

          • I wish I had mod points. I think too often the open source crowds forget that the same laws that protect Microsoft and empower the BSA are the same ones that protect open source software.

            I'm still waiting for the day when the BSA picks up their feet and actually cracks down on a company that's illegally using F/OSS source code though. Why doesn't the BSA enforce copyrights for OSS like it does for closed source?

            I'm left with no other option than to believe the BSA really is a shill for Microsoft and they wi
        • Or, from TFA:

          Although Microsoft has no intentions of scaling down (much less abandoning) its effort to chase software counterfeiters, Raikes argues that it's against its interests to push illegitimate users so hard that they wind up using alternative products. "You want to push towards getting legal licensing, but you don't want to push so hard that you lose the asset that's most fundamental in the business," Raikes said, adding that Microsoft is developing "pay-as-you-go" software pricing models in a bid
      • by massysett (910130)
        I don't know about the Open Source camp, but the Free camp as led by RMS would strongly disagree with you. RMS has said that if you have proprietary software and your neighbor wants a copy, you're morally obligated to copy it and give it to him. RMS says that even if the proprietary ware is "free" like beer it is still inferior [www.tlug.jp] because you cannot modify it. RMS' old story of not being able to use a printer because he didn't have the source code to the driver rings true even today: look at how badly 64-bit W
      • Free Software/Open Source folk need to be even more anal retentive than the BSA regarding software piracy. Zero tolerance! Report em all. Take piracy off the table as an option and we can make some major inroads from people who can't afford Microsoft and other commercial products now.

        That's a very bad idea which plays into the M$ game plan and makes you a scape goat. Getting the user to "pay later" [slashdot.org] is what the BSA is for.

        It's better to have nothing to do with "piracy" and help people with things that

  • Yay! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) * on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:26AM (#18330951)
    But does the linked article come with instructions on how to install vista without getting owned by product activation/genuine advantage and with the ability to successfully receive and install automatic updates ;) ?
    • After getting burned by wgatray a few times (with fully legal installs, they were from HP's restore partition) I disabled automatic updates. I do this on all new installs now. For updates, I use Offline Update [heise-security.co.uk]. Keep in mind, though, that all updates phone home [slashdot.org]. To prevent this I disable networking before installing them and block *.microsoft.com and 207.46.0.0/16 at the router.

      An alternative to Offline Update is Autopatcher [neowin.net] which does have releases for Vista. I used Autopatcher for XP for a while befor
  • by Gr8Apes (679165) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:28AM (#18330969)
    Does this surprise anyone? An installed base is marketing base. If people have pirated your OS instead of installing a competing product, the only issue you have is getting them to pay for it instead of convincing them to switch. Seems the former is much easier than the latter from all experiences so far. You also have the ability to sell them additional packages for your system without having to develop/sell such product supporting third party software. Another win, even if you can't convince them to pay for the OS to begin with.

    I recall in the late 80s early 90s MS almost encouraged piracy, in an effort to kill off a slew of alternate OSes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
      It's not even a surprise historically...Microsoft could have tightened up it's copy protection years ago, but didn't. Why? Because they wanted to be the standard!

      Lot of people don't remember it, but it used to be that Microsoft software was the easiest to install. Other people were doing dongles, and phone activation, and all this crap, and to get Office, you just bummed a disk, and copied an activation code off the internet. Easy as pie.

      Then they clamped down on the business users, and made a mint. Now the
    • Validation? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hemogoblin (982564) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:56AM (#18331367)
      I often hear that people pirate PC games to try them out and see if they enjoy them, and then buy later. It appears that Microsoft is in a sense indirectly giving this argument validity. I.e. They think its better for us to try out their products, see if we like them and buy later, rather than using their competitors' software. Feel free to correct my logic if I'm reading this wrong.
      • Re:Validation? (Score:4, Informative)

        by hackstraw (262471) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @10:57AM (#18332337)
        They think its better for us to try out their products, see if we like them and buy later, rather than using their competitors' software. Feel free to correct my logic if I'm reading this wrong.

        Microsoft doesn't really make any money off of Windows via off the shelf retail editions. They make money off of taxing OEMs by shipping their OS with new boxes regardless if you want or need a license, they get paid. They then make money off of site licenses where its common for the box to come with a license and then the site pays a separate license.

    • in the late 80s early 90s MS almost encouraged piracy, in an effort to kill off a slew of alternate OSes.

      "Almost", you say? Then it's time for today's Slashdot Time Machine Trip (TM):

      Cachunk. Beepbeepbeepbeepbeep... Borp!

      [You.Are.In.1990.] -- "Listen, we can outplay the enemy," says Billy Gates The T'ird in a fetching jacquard-knit sweater. "IBM, Quarterdeck, Digital Research, and even those twits at Apple... They're disorganised and they think that glitzy advertising alone will make them winners. Advertisi

    • by gobbo (567674)

      in the late 80s early 90s MS almost encouraged piracy

      More appropriately to the topic at hand, in the late 90's one, um, apparently merely had to enter 111111111-111 to dismiss the license screen for Office 98. Very clever and devious algorithm, that. Office was still spreading like the plague and quashing WordPerfect, and more than a few installations, including many fully paid licensed copies that I saw in action, used MS's shortcut license key. It was similarly easy with Office 97. It was so trivial to pirate that it really did become ubiquitous, even whe

  • by bad_fx (493443) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:28AM (#18330971) Journal
    ...and this has long been one of the reasons I love to see Microsoft trying to crack down software piracy.

    The more they tighten their grip, the more star^H^H^H^H people will slip through their fingers. :)
    • by babbling (952366) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:37AM (#18331087)
      Yeah, this is obvious, and I'd argue that it's not really even news. I'm not sure that Microsoft has ever tried to hide the fact that they would prefer people run their software, even if that means they're running a pirated version. It's just that they've never openly stated this until now.

      If every person who pirates Microsoft software suddenly switched to Ubuntu and OpenOffice, suddenly the Microsoft lock-in (eg. doc files, wmv videos, wma audio files, etc) would not be quite as powerful as it is at the moment.
      • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @10:34AM (#18331919) Homepage Journal
        Not only is not news, it hasn't been news for a long time. Here's what Bill Gates said in 1998 about software piracy [com.com] (about 9 years ago):

        "Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade." -- Bill Gates at University of Washington "town hall" meeting in 1998

        So, no, despite what TFA says, it is not the case that Raikes' words "do not appear to echo the sentiments of his company..."

        • Exactly, this is well-known. Piracy is a crucial part of the Microsoft strategy, and it works very well.

          What I think is important to realize is that this is something somewhat unique to software. You don't see BMW being happy that their cars are being stolen - although there might be some 'prestige' factor in being the car thief's favorite, more theft can quickly (1) cause people to fear owning BMWs, and (2) cause the insurance costs for owning a BMW to skyrocket.

          Microsoft's piracy strategy is only po
    • by owlnation (858981)
      Yep. And WGA has hurt them more than it's helped I'm sure too. I know a few people who would probably update to IE7 but can't due to WGA issues (legitimate or otherwise). So they use Firefox, and fire up IE6 on the rare occasions when some idiot developer's coded his site for IE only. Great for Mozilla and other OSS, MS is shooting themselves in the foot.
  • Not New (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This has been going on for years. Plenty of software companies who sell high cost specialist software applications accept and don't bother with low level piracy because it ensures there is a base of users who when they grow up/get a job will be most comfortable with that specific product. It has been the case for years in 3d design software.
  • by blcamp (211756) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:31AM (#18331009) Homepage

    The "logic" behind those comments vary little from the neighborhood crack dealer who gives the first "hit" for free.

    Get you on the habit, get you hooked, then pay through the nose... so to speak.
  • why (Score:4, Insightful)

    by amazon10x (737466) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:32AM (#18331025)
    Now that they've finally admitted it, will they stop with their WGA and activation junk? Activation is a pain for legit users, and now it seems that MS wants illegitimate users to work around it. I'm not really sure what it's there for anymore.
    • by cyclop (780354)
      Because they want most people to pay and be sure they pay. They prefer piracy to free software for the people who would never, ever pay in first instance.
    • Why on earth, would they do that? They have your money, now jump through their hoops. Unless people stop paying money for their software *because* of activation and WPA, they're not going to stop. "Dance, Monkey, Dance!!!"
    • Now that they've finally admitted it, will they stop with their WGA and activation junk? Activation is a pain for legit users, and now it seems that MS wants illegitimate users to work around it. I'm not really sure what it's there for anymore.

      It's simple, they haven't changed monopoly thinking. They have not recognised their actions could or would have consumers looking at alternatives. They were fully expecting everyone to migrate to Vista. Vista has had a pretty cool reception. I doubt it's being pir
      • by udippel (562132)
        It's simple, they haven't changed monopoly thinking. They have not recognised their actions could or would have consumers looking at alternatives. They were fully expecting everyone to migrate to Vista. Vista has had a pretty cool reception.

        Very much so. Let me add my blog here on what I observed last weekend w.r.t. piracy of Vista:

        Last weekend saw me in Low Yat, the almost world-famous place as far as 'cheap' software is concerned. No, I don't buy my software in Low Yat, I download legal software for free
  • of course! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bruno.fatia (989391)
    It's easyer to convert users using "free" (read: pirate) software to legit users for the SAME software than converting users from an alternative, even if that is free.
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:40AM (#18331121)
    I'm running a pirated version of Gentoo, and that's where I'm staying.
    • by manno (848709) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @10:19AM (#18331709)
      I think that's what I'm going to tell people about OpenOffice.org. I'm just going to say it's a super premium software package that costs upwards of $1000, and that I'm giving them a pirated version.

      When I tell people that I refuse to install a pirated version of MS office on their PC's they get peeved at me, and when I install a free alternative they give it 5 seconds, don't try to learn it, and get a pirated version of MS Office from someone else. Furthering Microsoft's hegemony.

      Maybe if I tried to sell OO.o, with a pitch like.

      "I don't even have a copy of that piece of junk(MS Office) I use a more robust office package for the business, I got it for a song at $1,100 per seat. I can let you bum a license off me for free."

      But these are friends mostly, and I hate being dishonest particularly with people I choose to do favors for. If only I had the soul of a MS marketing director...

      -manno
      • by Drogo007 (923906)
        "If only I had the soul of a MS marketing director..."

        See, there's your mistake right there. MS marketing directors don't have Souls.
  • Alternatives? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:42AM (#18331153)
    So, if I wanted to pirate a readily-available closed-source proprietary operating system for my PC other than Windows, what would I pick?
    • by Tavor (845700)
      OSX86. Granted, it's also locked down and a pain through the nose, but at least the eye candy is worth it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AdamWeeden (678591)
      OS2/Warp of course!
    • So, if I wanted to pirate a readily-available closed-source proprietary operating system for my PC other than Windows, what would I pick?

      Leave out the words "closed-source proprietary" and replace "pirate" with copy and you find lots of alternatives. None of them will remotely shut down or have anyone smarter than SCO try legal action against you.
    • BeOS, of course!

      But is that still piracy, even if the company no longer exists?
  • Nothing new (Score:2, Informative)

    by dosius (230542)
    Apart from it now being about keeping people off gnuware there's nothing new about this, they were saying what, 10, 15 years ago?, that they didn't really mind the rampant piracy of their software because it would get people hooked and they'd come back and buy legit. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

    -uso.
  • Drug dealer methods (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JOrgePeixoto (853808) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:48AM (#18331231) Journal
    Here in Brazil, Sérgio Amadeu, head of ITI (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia da Informação, Portuguese for National Information Technology Institute), claimed that Microsoft tactics are those of a drug dealer: provide the stuff for free or nearly free, get the "customer" to be addicted, and then get money out of him. He was legally threatened by Microsoft for saying so. http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7654 [linuxjournal.com].
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I don't see how it's far from the truth. Even if you disregard piracy. MS offers many of it's products for free or really cheap to most students and educational institutes, assuming they will get hooked on it, and eventually pay full price for the product. Granted, a lot of companies do this, not just MS. It's not like you actually get addicted to the software though. Sure you know how to use it, and continuing to use the product is a lot easier than learning to use the alternative.
  • Any company with half a gram of common sense would rather you pirated their software than use a competing product. Of course they'd also rather you paid for their software, but given the choice of course they'll value install base for themselves over install base for a competitor.

    I really don't see how this is news, or that there's really anything to discuss.
    • Well, of course. If company X's software costs $1000 and company Y's software costs $100, then anyone with half a brain at company X realizes that they are better off if you pirate X's software rather than put money into a competitor. Same for used merchandise. Ford would rather see you buying a used Ford than a new Hundai.
      With GNU software there's a risk that they will lose a customer *forever*.

      There are bone-headed executives all around that don't see the wisdom of this, but smart companies figure
  • Every pirated license is someone who is not seriously using a competitor's operating system. If it were really, really hard to pirate Windows, Apple's customer base would explode and the number of people who would demand serious usability on par with OSX and Windows out of desktop Linux would expand tremendously. Microsoft knows. This. It's just a form of total war. Microsoft would rather burn the fields down than allow their enemies to use them, if you need an analogy.
  • Hello? Adobe? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by old_skul (566766) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @09:58AM (#18331375) Journal
    Adobe has been doing this for years. And it works. I don't know how many of my peers pirated Photoshop 3.0 only to go on to buy a license for 7 and CS and CS2 later in life.

    What I don't get is the validity of TFA's statement in parallel with Microsoft's scarily effective product activation.
  • I always knew they thought it. I'd say part of Microsofts empire, a larger part then they will ever admit, was built on the back of piracy. Microsoft was content to sit back and let home users pass their disks around, for a very long time...even during the dongle craziness of the 1980s. They didn't even have any copy protection on their disks IIRC. Why? Because the businesses would still buy it anyway, and once all the home users were used to MS there was pressure for the businesses to buy it.

    It was actuall
  • i would not use MS-Windows even if MS gave it away as Freeware...

    i rather run my pirated copy of Linux...
  • MS is where it is today because it allowed people to copy software. Even now, the home user can often get a copy of office from work. I know people who bought a PC because the software was free and easy to use. Other machines would have incurred some additional software cost or time.

    There are only a couple change from the long ago is the present. The first is the demand that new PCs come with a properly licensed version of Windows. As far as I can tell, this program helps cover the fixed costs at MS,

  • Former paid users, becoming pirates after realizing Windows isn't
    A) Worth paying for
    B) Worth looking for your old install CD for

    Not that that describes me, in any way.

    Also, apple software is easier to pirate, excluding server. Don't even bother trying to pirate OSX server. Not that I've tried >_>
  • Sounds like (Score:2, Funny)

    by Lifyre (960576)
    Microsoft finally found their genuine advantage...
  • I'm a developer and I use a ton of Microsoft software. However, I never actually pay for any of it, through a combination of MSDN subscriptions and "borrowed" software. If I actually had to pay for Microsoft software. I'd be a heck of a lot more F/OSS oriented. And Microsoft's quote underscores why I don't feel bad about using their software for free. I realize (as do they, apparently) that by simply using their products I'm helping them - one less developer gone over to F/OSS.

    Before you bash me as a ba
  • War of the Word (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JerryQ (923802)
    back in the 80s the easiest wp package to copy was Word (Lic key 123456789), so, when the big Corps were performing research to decide on which WP to standardize on, they selected Word because more people knew Word. Nice strategy Jerry
  • Old news. (Score:2, Redundant)

    by TheLink (130905)
    Bill Gates said the same thing 9 years ago.

    http://news.com.com/2100-1023-212942.html [com.com]

    "Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software," he said. "Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."

    The Chinese were/are pretty sensitive to the "addicted" keyword. It probably reminded them of the British opiu
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheLink (130905)
      Why's my post modded redundant? I only see one other post here on the same thing AND it's was posted AFTER my post.
  • Microsoft piracy. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bluefiddleben (754440)
    This technique isn't restricted to competing against free software, nor is it anything like new. Back in the early 1990s, a friend of mine in Jordan developed an Arabic word processing program. Their program cost $85.00, and was much better than MS Word's arabic interface. Nevertheless, my friend went out of business because people could use the unprotected M$ software for free. After all the competitors were out of business, M$ started using legal smackdowns against large clients to make them pay.
  • i'd choose linux if it were better for gaming. so unfortunatley, i choose to stick with windows at the moment. i hold no allegiance to software though. i use what works best for me.
  • On a trip to the Far East some years ago, a fairly well informed colleague told me that Seiko had become so concerned about the potential damage to its reputation from badly made counterfeits, that it had started to make the counterfeits itself secretly in the effort to drive the counterfeiters out of the market. No idea if its true, but its a thought provoking line of reasoning.
  • I've said this about 40 times in other threads on microsoft cracking down on piracy, or implementing some ridiculous piracy protection scheme. They want you to pay for your software, and barring that - they want you to use their software for free.

    A long time ago a small, nobody 'heavy metal' rock group made a recording of their 'jam sessions', labelled it 'garage days' and told people to distribute it like crazy. copy copy copy - give it out for free. They're now known as metallica, the clueless sods cha
  • How do you think Microsoft became so prominent in the first place?
  • by geert (2624) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @11:01AM (#18332437) Homepage
    This is is a nice opportunity to point out that `unauthorized copying equals theft' cannot be true.

    Ever heard e.g. a car dealer say: `We don't like people stealing cars, but if they do steal cars, we'd like them to steal ours'??

    Or Joe Sixpack: `I don't like people stealing money, but if they do, please steal mine'?
  • Nothing like stating an obvious fact that we've all known was true for a long time. I suppose its nice that someone over there finally admitted it, even though he's inevitably getting a slap on the wrist from his superiors I suspect.

    Dugg down for being a brain-dead obvious thing.

    Oops, sorry, wrong site.

    P.S. - Slashdot... WORST... CAPCHA... EVER!! I can't read that crap worth a shit. It's supposed to make it difficult for scripts to post, not legit humans. Someone should tell our fearless leaders that on
  • The statement itself is obvious as day.

    But I am surprised that MS have come out and said this publically.

    They're treading very thin ice here... they have always taken a harsh harsh stance on piracy, yet it's (by their own admission) in their best interests for people to pirate their software. You can't have it both ways, Microsoft.

    Basically they have said "Piracy is evil and illegal and it is the worst thing you could possibly do to an honest hard working company such as ourselves" ... "but we'd rather you
  • But of course this is so; It has always been so.

    Piracy of applications and operating systems removes price as a competitive factor in the market. In a perfect world of free goods, you choose only superior goods, never inferior goods, because price is removed from the decision mechanism. That is a proveable outcome in all microeconomic analysis.

    This means that as long as Microsoft can leverage its existing sales from other products to offset losses in emerging applications to out spend and outperform the com

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