Microsoft Loves you to Pirate Their Software

Keep on Guard!


I’ve heard this ‘rumour’ plenty of times, I always suspected it was true and Adobe have said similar things about their software.

If you are going to pirate, Microsoft wants you to pirate their software as when you go legit you are already locked in to their proprietary system.

All the more grounds for OSS if you ask me.

A senior Microsoft exec has admitted that some software piracy actually ends up benefiting the technology giant because it leads to purchases of other software packages.

In this way, some software pirates who might otherwise never try Microsoft products become paying customers, according to Microsoft business group president Jeff Raikes.

“If they’re going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else,” Raikes told delegates at last week’s Morgan Stanley Technology conference in San Francisco, Information Week reports.

A pay as you go model for lower income countries? Sounds interesting.

Rather than saying that piracy isn’t a problem per-se, Raikes reckons that between 20 and 25 per cent of US software is pirated, he argues pragmatically that it can have benefits over the long-run. “We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products,” Raikes said. “What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software,” he said.

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 to encourage low-income people in emerging countries to use its technology.

So basically go ahead, pirate MS. Not so say we support Piracy as we don’t we support Open Source and the freedom to modify and control your own software infrastructure (especially useful when it comes to security).

Security through obscurity and patches with a 1 month lead time is never good.

Come let’s pirate Ubuntu instead.

Source: The Register

Posted in: Hacking News

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5 Responses to Microsoft Loves you to Pirate Their Software

  1. Bogwitch April 16, 2007 at 7:57 pm #

    Another startlingly fast reporting of the news. :-)

    Are you going to delete this comment like you deleted the disparaging comments posted to your Backtrack article?

  2. Darknet April 17, 2007 at 3:47 am #

    Bogwitch: Only if you use a proxy to post another two ‘supporting’ comments the same :)

  3. Bogwitch April 17, 2007 at 11:08 am #

    Erm, Not me, I’m afraid. I wasn’t sure if they saw my comment and added their 2p worth or if they were shocked at your lack of timeliness, too!

    Still, you could do with keeping an ear a little closer to the ground.

    I probably wouln’t have bothered but I was miffed that you didn’t feel it important to attribute your attention being drawn to the FSUM tool.

    Sour grapes? Me? Nah!

  4. Darknet April 18, 2007 at 7:02 am #

    Bogwitch: Haha ok, well I usually delete pointless comments from any posts, good or bad unless they are relevant. Most of this stuff is not time sensitive anyway, if you haven’t found about it yet, you will now. Like the this Microsoft Piracy article, why does it matter when it was originally published? Fact is I draft all the articles on the day they are published, most aren’t time sensitive so I just leave them in the queue until a gap comes up then I publish them. Time sensitive will be published on the day. Haha ok sorry about the FSUM thing, I didn’t note in the draft the source, but now I remember you e-mailed me about it. Cheers!

  5. Motoma April 20, 2007 at 1:48 pm #

    The first quotation contains the phrase “Click here to find out more.” You may want to remove this :P

    In response to the article, is anyone surprised by this revelation? Some might go so far as to say that Microsoft has intentionally designed products to make money from hacking and pirating; a perfect example would be the XBox; Microsoft doesn’t lose any money from modchips, as people still need to acquire an XBox, they lose nothing from the pirated games because they software developers still have to pay licensing and royalties, and there is the occasion where a modder has to buy a second XBox because of a fried motherboard!

    Why would Macromedia (now Adobe) release the “trial edition” of their products on their website, when with a couple of keystrokes it can be changed to the full-fledged professional version? If college students can learn on their platforms even when they can’t pay for it, the up and coming job force is already an experienced and dedicated user of their product. In order to harness that experience, employers need to (legally) acquire their software, resulting in a larger purchase than the “pirate” would have made.