The whole argument about software piracy is driving the world crazy. If Microsoft are serious about the elimination of piracy of their licensed software here are a few pointers they might consider:
1) Demand that all governments institute extremely severe penalties for every instance of copyright or license violation. At least that will ensure that the subject gets taken more seriously. (I can't advocate the death penalty, but something close to it would help make a resounding statement.)
Also, show zero mercy, otherwise the message will not be strong enough! (PS: The RIAA and MPAA should take hint also to help educate the public that use of proprietary copyrighted material is a VERY serious matter. Eliminate any concept or form of "fair use" - there is no room for it in a DRM locked up world.) It is only reasonable to make the consumer aware that organizations that pursue such controls really do not want customers, they want prisoners. Prisoners have no rights! It is time to come out of the woods and into the clear!
2) Eliminate the bundling of Microsoft products from all computer sales.
Microsoft should insist that the consumer must obtain duly licensed software (operating system and applications) and must comply with well published and clearly presented licensing terms. The current practice of bundling MS Windows with laptops and desktop systems is a source of endless confusion for the consumer. Microsoft are the primary cause of end-user confusion.
The purchase of a bundled system requires the consumer (or user) to enter into a compulsory contract (EULA) with a third-party who is NOT involved in the purchase transaction between the purchaser and the supplier of the hardware (laptop or desktop system). This is a patently unjust business practice because the user is coerced into a contract with a company that interferes with the purchase transaction between buyer and seller. Separating out the purchase of an operating system would clearly separate the business and licensing transactions, and thus will create greater awareness of the responsibility to comply with licensing terms.
3) Governments should insist that under freedom of information conditions all consumers must be made aware of the alternatives they can choose from when faced with a need to select an operating system and application software. The consumer should be made aware of the existence of free software so that the consumer is not coerced into an unnecessary financial or legally oppressive relationship.
4) Microsoft should educate their users that the original license to use a product they supplied applies only to the originally supplied product. In other words, all modifications made to the operating system, or to application software, as a result of a maintenance process is a sub-license of the original license and can not be severed from the original license. Please help loyal Microsoft users to keep the consumer honest.
Too often IT people are approached by someone who received a second-hand computer from which the original purchaser had erased the MS Windows operating system, but left the activation key sticker on the machine, only to be asked to install some version (any version) of MS Windows because they do not have original installation media, and yet believe that the activation key sticker is a license to any version of Windows since they can not use the computer without an operating system installed.
- A Concerned Licensing Advocate
...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"