I believe you need a VM if you are running the latest version 2010 as most of the applications are only rated bronze. And as far as I can tell, you cannot purchase an older version as is it no more available.
When you reinvent the wheel, improve on it and keep the implementation of the improvement to yourself, the improvements are not available to the competition.
Really not an expert in Android so I am just throwing ideas here.
Since Android is based on Linux, chmod a-rwx would be an easy staring point. If the application cannot be read and executed, it cannot be started.
Better, erase the unwanted apps with 'rm' and keep only the one you want, the browser.
If you are a large corporation and purchase say a 1000 computers or more, and are not interested in Windows but would like to install Linux, you could force vendors to sell their computers without Windows at a lower price.
And in many parts of the world, you can ask for a reimbursement of Windows if you are not using it. IIRC, it can be done in France.
The general public does not know that Linux exists! Once some Linux corporation starts marketing Linux like Apple does it (maybe Canonical in 5 years), things might change. And because corporations are already running Linux on the server side, they already have the expertises in house to manage Linux machines. When the big wigs discover that Linux on the desktop is viable and hip, they might be seriously think to switch their desktop machines from Windows to Linux. All depends of their dependency with their current applications.
What is being pirated now is already lost (or never was there as a market anyhow). However, the customers of Microsoft that are paying licenses could switch to Linux like Munich did. That is a lost of existing revenues, thus the real threat.
$100 for a keyboard that could last 10 years is not that expensive. I paid heavily for some keyboards. I wash the under water once in a while and they come out brand new. This kind of stuff last.
Would I be able to go to the store and ask for a refund for the Windows license I was obliged to purchase when buying my computer?
I bet not...
> but in 50 years we could have outer-space mining.
Yeah, right. In the 50's, that is what they were promising for the year 2000. Here we are in the 21st century and we still do not have practical, fuel efficient space travel. Hey, I am still waiting for my flying car they promised me.
Outer space 'anything' requires a lot of energy and is very expensive. There are no technology gain on the radar that seam to promise that any of this will change in the next 50 years. My bet is that in 50 years, life will be harder, not easier for humanity as scarcity of resources will take its toll. A good example is how slowly more people trade their car for a bicycle or public transport.
A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something undreamed of by its author. -- S. C. Johnson