I don't see that many pirated Windows installs but the ones I do see are all from poor people who were given a bootleg XP or Windows 2000 disk with no product code and no questions asked. I mean, fair is fair and Microsoft is selling a product as a business not giving away their OS as a charity but in my experience the people they're hurting are the ones least able to help themselves.
The poor people I'm talking about here are usually seniors with little computer knowledge using out of date hardware and single parent families with few resources. They're not buying new computers and $150 for a Microsoft OS is too steep for their budget.
They're not leet hackers laughing at Microsoft, they're simple folk. One little old lady who had her computer in was completely
horrified when I told her that her Windows was pirated, she literally had no idea. Our policy is we don't help you once we discover your Windows is pirated for the simple reason that we have no way of knowing what has been done to the OS or what has been corrupted or is missing. In that case she came in a couple of months later with a legal Windows disk she'd saved up and bought and I installed it for her gratis. I know the price tag hurt her though but she would have no truck with illegal Windows.
Anyway, my point is that these folks are for the most part clueless and are ripe targets for botnetting since they lack the knowledge to acquire and keep an AV updated on their own. Free Avast and Free AVG are available to them but without handholding they'd never figure out how to jump through the hoops to download, install and set these up. The beauty of Microsoft Security Essentials is that they've made it pretty much self-running and idiot-proof. Like I said in my post yesterday, I'd push it out to everyone not already running an AV if I were Microsoft. It increases the general health of the Windows eco-system, makes Windows more secure and run better as a result, which in turn makes the Windows experience better for everyone and increases the likelihood of Windows purchases down the road through good word of mouth.
The leet hackers have the tools to look after themselves. If it were just them running pirated Windows, I'd agree with Microsoft and say stuff 'em. It's not though and things look a lot different on the bottom of the food chain; it's those most unable to protect themselves who get hurt the most.