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Pirating Software? Choose Microsoft!

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the where-do-you-want-to-keycrack-today dept.

Microsoft 264

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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The link (5, Funny)

thammoud (193905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330909)

missed the first couple of sentences.

Re:The link (0, Offtopic)

hasmael (993654) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330933)

Holy un-closed tags batman!

Re:The link (-1, Offtopic)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330939)

Darn you!!! hehehehe I came here to say the same thing (right down to the batman paraphrase).

Re:The link (-1, Offtopic)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330945)

alright, you convinced me, I'm tagging this "holyunclosedtagsbatman"

Re:The link (1, Funny)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330997)

Well, they could at least use the hugeurl equivalent [hugeurl.com] of the link, just for the sake of it.

Re:The link (1, Funny)

romland (192158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331081)

Well, they could at least use the hugeurl equivalent of the link, just for the sake of it.

Took me ages to type that, so I made a tiny [tinyurl.com] out of it. Aim to please.

RIAA likes pirating too (2, Insightful)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330923)

Pirate away!

But most people don't like the settlements and license compliance audits that eventually catch up to them.

Death to pirates! (4, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:Death to pirates! (2, Insightful)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331667)

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

Re:Death to pirates! (3, Insightful)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331793)

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 short term can be profitable in the long term - Microsoft being a prime example.

And yes, where there are suitable Open Source tools for the job, great. Firefox, PHP, MySQL, yadda yadda. However, with no offense intended, please don't give me Gimp when I ask for Photoshop.

Re:Death to pirates! (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:Death to pirates! (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331893)

> 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 correct them. No, it isn't right to pirate Windows/Office just because you can't afford them. When there was no other choice some people would fuzz the issue and try to justify it. But when there are safe, legal and FREE alternatives there is no moral argument possible for stealing.

And if a site still insists on running bootleg, drop a dime to the BSA and make sure they suffer the consequences of their moral failings. Even if they are too stupid to learn they can at least be an example to others. What is wrong with seeing the wicked suffer? Would you ignore a drug dealer? Pimp? Pawn shop knowingly dealing in stolen goods? Someone knowingly buying stolen goods? No, be a good citizen and take a bite out of crime.

is this how CS students make friends? :P (1)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331697)

report them to the authorities when their potential new friends/customers are binge-drinking at a fratparty that they can't go to so they'll be forced not to go there anymore and in stead go to nerdy CS student parties where they get free booze from CS students desperate for friends? :p
odd notion, that

Re:is this how CS students make friends? :P (4, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331807)

Well, it is a crime to pirate software, so let's start calling the police. Most people call 911 when a crime is committed, right?

"911, what is your emergency?"
"My neighbor just pirated Microsoft Office."
"what?"
"My neighbor is pirating software!"
*click*

Not gonna happen (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331929)

Look, a lot of OSS software is free, already. Where are the users? Most OSS for projects that are not server-room based haven't gone anywhere at all, even with a price tag of $0. OSS just doesn't cut it for many users (it's missing several critical apps that keeps me from switching to the whole Linux/OSS platform). Even if comparable software exists, it's often unusable non-geeks. It's already illegal to do what people are doing (pirating software), and people know there's a risk to getting caught, but people do it anyway! I don't think that prosecuting more piraters is really going to have an effect. If people haven't come running for Linux and the rest of it already, they're never going to.

just to nitpick... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330929)

Holy hyperlink Batman!

Yay! (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 ;) ?

Re:Yay! (1)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331749)

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 before switching to Offline Update. It works well. I haven't tried it for Vista yet, though.

(BTW, I exclusively use Linux and FreeBSD at home and have for the last 11 years. I have to deal with Windows for family and work)

So that explains WGA relaxation? (5, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:So that explains WGA relaxation? (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331173)

One of the reasons why I went out and bought a legit copy of XP (OEM) for my built system was I was just tired of WGA irritants. Lets face it, if your using a piece of software for months, if not years, why not buy it?

Though, to be fair, I bought it because of all the horror stories they were talking about when SP2 was going to come out. Last thing I wanted was my Outlook PST file deleted. (I know its not true, but when you hear it from a clueless computer user more than 5 times in a week, even I started believing it:P)

Re:So that explains WGA relaxation? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331431)

Actually, Symantec AV, XP and Outlook w/ large PSTs can, under certain circumstances, create a 0 length PST. I had it happen twice. I no longer use Outlook for anything I care about, it was what moved me to Thunderbird 0.5, I think it was.

Re:So that explains WGA relaxation? (3, Funny)

stasike (1063564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331471)

If you are afraid that your pst file might get deleted definitely use OneCare ;-)

Re:So that explains WGA relaxation? (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331207)

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 they're working on the home users. I doubt they expect WGA to be genuinely effective, and I doubt they even want it to be...All it is is a gentle push to move some of the more pedestrian pirates into buying legal copies.

Validation? (4, Insightful)

Hemogoblin (982564) | more than 7 years ago | (#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? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331947)

That's not really the same thing - that's more akin to downloading a CD to see if it's worth buying.

Re:So that explains WGA relaxation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331569)

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


What a coincidence! I too remember lots of things that almost happened. It's almost worth writing on Slashdot.

Re:So that explains WGA relaxation? (0)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331773)

No, not surprising. I've been saying this for years and it's just one more reason to hate MS.

Re:So that explains WGA relaxation? (1)

Larus (983617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331879)

For Microsoft to openly announce this, they must be hurting in PR.

Hmm... fairly obvious I'd say (2, Insightful)

bad_fx (493443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330971)

...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. :)

Re:Hmm... fairly obvious I'd say (3, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Hmm... fairly obvious I'd say (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331919)

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..."

Thanks Captain Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330973)

Off course, it's better much better if people pirate your product. This is why piracy doesn't usually hurt the big companies that have a well established product but rather those that are trying to compete with them.

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde (1)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331615)


The only worse than being pirated is *not* being pirated ...

Not New (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330993)

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.

History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330995)

Microsoft wants to increase its installed base even through piracy. The goal is to "convert them to use the software" later...

And how is this new ? wasn't it how they won the home user market ?

Re:History (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331027)

Um...no. The won the home user market through preload agreements with OEMs. The vast majority of people just use whatever is preloaded on the PC they buy.

Re:History (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331549)

Microsoft wants to increase its installed base even through piracy. The goal is to "convert them to use the software" later...

This is the intent, but they blew it with the WGA and BSA. Instead of piracy, and later buying a legal copy, the move to Open Source has been driven by this. They made it obvious that a pirated copy caries a big risk due to the big stick.. Their carrot compared to alternatives made the decision to go to Apple or Linux a simple choice for many.

That's so "nice" of them... (5, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331009)


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.

Re:That's so "nice" of them... (4, Interesting)

mbook (782023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331151)

The BSA's latest study says $200 billion in software will be pirated in the next 4 years. Is software piracy "theft" like robbery is "theft"? If the software publisher prefers people to steal their software rather than use alternatives, how is that "theft"? Does the jewelry store prefer that their diamonds get stolen rather than having the thief wear cubic zirconia? http://www.bsa.org/globalstudy/upload/2005%20Pirac y%20Study%20-%20Official%20Version.pdf [bsa.org] [PDF]

Re:That's so "nice" of them... (1)

dzurn (62738) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331881)

BSA offers a reward [bsa.org] for snitching on companies that make stolen software available. I already did it, so I'm expecting a huge check soon.

www.definetheline.com [definetheline.com] :

You might not realize it, but copying commercial software without permission or downloading it illegally is stealing. It's time to "Define the Line" between sharing and stealing when it comes to computer software.

Stealing or pirating commercial software is getting out of control on college campuses. Students may think using the term "sharing software" makes it all right, but it doesn't. Reality check: it's "stealing software."

Is it still illegal even if MS 'doesn't mind'?

Downloading software may contain viruses which could crash computer systems and could put you at risk with authorities and your school.
Heed the warnings, kids.

Just say no.

Re:That's so "nice" of them... (2, Insightful)

handsome b (834703) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331717)

crack isn't ingested through the nose, it's smoked.

Re:That's so "nice" of them... (1)

itpatil (1075119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331755)

Funny.. pay through the nose ;)

What's wrong with the logic? (1)

Cigarra (652458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331763)

The "logic" behind those comments vary little from the neighborhood crack dealer who gives the first "hit" for free.
Except this is not crack. Those kind of comparisons are useless by default.

why (3, Insightful)

amazon10x (737466) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:why (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331215)

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.

Re:why (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331483)

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!!!"

Re:why (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331651)

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 pirated very much (some) but alternatives are now popular. Instead of pirated versions of Vista being converted to paying consumers, Apple and Ubuntu are becoming popular instead.

Re:why (1)

korisu (1070254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331971)

Because the legitimate owner will only see it as a minor irritation and will continue on happily afterward, whereas the pirate will be stuck working around it, finding a key, finding a patch, and so on... and will be thinking the entire time that this should cost $300 or such. Installs a sense of guilt, I suppose - if they come around to thinking "OK, I like this OS", the very next thought in their mind will be "I should pay for it already." Not surprising that they're fully aware of it, surprising that they're willing to say so in public.

of course! (2, Insightful)

bruno.fatia (989391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331033)

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.

Re:of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331635)

I know this is trolling.. but it's bothering me and I feel the need to say something.

easier

This like saying... (0)

C3c6e6 (766943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331067)

...to your loved one: I'd prefer you to cheat on me as much as you want rather than being honest and just break up with me when you're fed up with me.

Re:This like saying... (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331263)

OK that was even crappier than the car analogies.

If you insist on a relationship analogy, its more like co-habiting with someone you want to marry, in the hope they marry you later.

The main difference is that you get the lock-in immediately.

Re:This like saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331395)

I think it's more like a husband who says "aw baby, you know I still loves you" to his freshly battered wife.

Context is important (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331093)

Obviously Microsoft prefers the market to use their software even if it's pirated, rather than the alternative: the use of free software.
The article doesn't even mention free alternatives. As such, I believe the clause "If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else" was wildly misconstrued in the /. posting. Microsoft is may be anti-FOSS, but that doesn't mean it's all they ever talk/think about.

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331111)

Of COURSE they need market share! YES, piracy is a sales tool! Glad to see they are finally admitting it. All of the software companies have a long history of discounts and giveaways targeted at the people who are likely to look for alternatives instead of paying full price. "Academic" discounts are just the beginning. It's important to take lots of money away from the people who have lots of money, but you can't let the other customers choose a low-cost alternative. Pretty soon, the low-cost alternative rules the market. That's how we got MS-DOS leading to Windows instead of CP/M leading to Unix. The last thing Bill wants is a competitor who does to Microsoft what Microsoft did to CP/M and Unix. Before Microsoft was monopoly, it was THE low-cost software provider.

When the price of the product is a problem in the beginning, I fail to understand why people accept "introductory" discounts and giveaways, knowing full well that future versions will be more expensive (and generally not discounted) once they are "locked in". Then again, some fish are known to bite the same hook repeatedly. You would think the pain of being hooked, reeled in, and grabbed by a fisherman would teach the fish something. Evidently not. The "free worm" is remains a powerful incentive.

Still not gonna do it. (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331121)

I'm running a pirated version of Gentoo, and that's where I'm staying.

Re:Still not gonna do it. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331323)

How's life in your parent's basement? Plan on getting married? You are 42, after all.

Re:Still not gonna do it. (5, Funny)

manno (848709) | more than 7 years ago | (#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

Alternatives? (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#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?

Re:Alternatives? (1)

Tavor (845700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331331)

OSX86. Granted, it's also locked down and a pain through the nose, but at least the eye candy is worth it.

Re:Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331343)

osX86 of course..

Re:Alternatives? (2, Funny)

AdamWeeden (678591) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331443)

OS2/Warp of course!

Re:Alternatives? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331765)

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.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331769)

You can always pirate DOS 6.0, you know...

Or maybe OS/2 Warp! Yay!

Re:Alternatives? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331941)

BeOS, of course!

But is that still piracy, even if the company no longer exists?

Nothing new (2, Informative)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331161)

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.

Convoluted logic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331175)

The user who pirates software is less likely to buy the product; this is a classic case of "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"

Unless of course, this becomes a case of "the first one is free..."

Re:Convoluted logic. (2, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331373)

The user who pirates software is less likely to buy the product.
Sure, but even piracy improves the product's value as a developer target. The more machines running an OS, the more likely developers are to develop for that OS. And having more third-party applications available for Windows will drive up sales, or at least will reduce defection.

Think of all the people you've heard of who won't use Linux because their favorite game or tax software won't run on it.

Re:Convoluted logic. (2, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331895)

The user who pirates software is less likely to buy the product; this is a classic case of "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"

On the contrary. After buying software that had demos that worked much better than the product, I have on many occasions tried a pirated copy before buying a legit copy.

Most of the times it was related to copy protection problems. I have a hard drive. The demo can be installed and runs fine. The actual product won't run without the disk in the drive. This is unaceptable and not stated in the product literature prior to purchase. Running more than one application at once is normal operation of a PC. Running more than one CD in the drive at once is not an option.

Programs which work get purchased. Programs which don't work or don't have a working crack, get rejected. I have simply bought too much software which simply can't be installed and run without the CD. I no longer buy off the shelf software without finding if it meets my needs first. Overpriced software is not pirated. It is simply rejected. For example, I use Open Office and the Gimp instead of Adobe Photoshop and MS Office.

Please, please only pirate open software. (1)

BrentRJones (68067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331229)

We need to make people loyal to FREEDOM.

Drug dealer methods (5, Interesting)

JOrgePeixoto (853808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331231)

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] .

Re:Drug dealer methods (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331913)

Making the comparison of "addicted" to "locked in" is really unfair.

Addiction implies that the user actually "likes" the software. I have heared very few people talk about how much they "like" MS software. They just use it because (insert vendor lock-in issue here). From what I hear from Mac and Linux devotees sounds more like addiction.

Re:Drug dealer methods (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331955)

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.

How is this news? How is it surprising? (1, Redundant)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331235)

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.

Re:How is this news? How is it surprising? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331609)

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 out how to make money from used/grey/pirated versions of their products all the time.

Just use MS (1)

TheJasper (1031512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331291)

First and foremost they want you to use their software, even if you steal it. Not only are you then a potential customer, but you're friends/family/colleagues will also be more likely to use MS. Also, they'd rather you steal their software then help the competition. Heck, they aren't allowed to give their software away for anti-trust reasons, so having it stolen is the next best thing.

The funny thing is that the article states that software theft is a major economic drain. I wonder how much of that is the needless effort put into protection schemes that don't work and lawyers to sue...well anyone for anything. This number will of course be far less than the amount estimated for lost sales..

I'm in agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331309)

Seriously, what film student didn't get a pirated copy of softimage, illustrator, 3dstudio max, photoshop when they used it for school? Its often a known thing by the publishers. In school, sure its okay. But once you get to a commercial setting; You, or your company pays for what you are using. If those students had to pay for some of that software thier software costs would be as high as their school cost+ books. The best part is that these students eventually buy the product when they make enough money to do so because its what they are familiar with.

Why not? (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331313)

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.

Re:Why not? (2, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331475)

I'm sorry, I did not get that. Can you restate your analogy using a car? We on Slashdot do not understand analogies unless they're really bad car analogies. ;)

Hello? Adobe? (2, Interesting)

old_skul (566766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331375)

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 only surprised they said it... (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331379)

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 actually a clever marketing strategy. Now that they're the defacto standard they can tighten the grip. People will squirm, a few will slip through their fingers...but most will likely grin and bear it.

No Thanks (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331387)

i would not use MS-Windows even if MS gave it away as Freeware...

i rather run my pirated copy of Linux...

ancient news (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331425)

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, and was probably necessary due to extreme inefficiencies in the organization. MS thrived for years giving away the OS. The second change is the formalization of take home a copy policy. Employees can now, at least sometime, legally do what they were doing anyway. This is useful to MS as it keeps employees from user other OS then infecting the office with the other OS.

The big issue was corporate, and MS cracked down on corporate in the 90's. This needed to be done as people were becoming enormously wealthy on the back of MS products, and not paying MS the proper considerations. The sad thing was that firms that followed all MS rules, bought all the software, were still punished with expensive and useless audits, expensive not only in terms of real costs, but untold costs in terms of customer loyalty. I for one grew to like Windows NT quite a lot, but after seeing the place I was working suffer, never upgraded to 2000 for my personal machine.

I wonder how they feel about... (2, Interesting)

alisson (1040324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331435)

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 (2, Funny)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331449)

Microsoft finally found their genuine advantage...

Hit The Nail On The Head (1)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331459)

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 bad guy, I am making a concerted effort to move over to F/OSS personally and professionally. Right now I'm involved in an effort to convert a client from .NET to Linux+MySQL+Ruby+Rails.

War of the Word (2, Interesting)

JerryQ (923802) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331487)

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

Please don't tell anyone I know ... (1)

donak (609594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331489)

I'll never get them to use Linux, dammit!

Old news. (1, Redundant)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331613)

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 opium business in the 1800s.

Re:Old news. (1)

zugurudumba (1009301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331897)

That sig of yours...

Microsoft piracy. (2, Interesting)

bluefiddleben (754440) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331655)

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.

Can't believe nobody mentioned Shareware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331663)

Is Shareware model really comparable with "the crack dealer at the corner of the street?". Microsoft is being accused of... agreeing that letting people try their software before they buy it is better than hindering people from trying their software... Very surprising...

It is the Microsoft way (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331665)

Piracy is what helped Microsoft get so big in the first place. Everyone had Dos and Windows on their 386/486 back in the day. Disk copying and BBS file trading was fairly common, but the biggest vehicle for unlicensed software was the indie computer shop. They would sell copied floppies with a legit-looking printed label, something ridiculously easy to make even in the 80's and 90's because even the authentic products didn't have fancy artwork to set them apart. Unknowingly, those small time retailers built Microsoft into a monopoly, by preinstalling unlicensed copies of Dos and Windows onto every single PC. Not every shop did this, but it was much more common back then than it is today, at least in North America.

In a sense, maybe this is Microsoft admitting that they've done enough (or even too much) to slow down piracy. It's one thing when someone slips you an illegal copy without your knowledge, it's another when someone willfully pirates software. You want to protect #1 (and put his scamming salesman in a small cell with a guy named 'Tiny'), but #2 is usually a techy type, or a kid, or maybe just a broke student who couldn't afford the $300 OS but needs it for his/her/its work. Like the MS rep said: at least they're using our software instead of someone else's. MS may not make any money from that bootleg copy, but they're still glad no one else is making a buck off that user. Better to let a cracked XP run free than to watch that user defect to Apple or Linux.

The lovely part is that Microsoft is absolutely right!

In God We Trust (1)

timlyg (266415) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331669)

Well this is all in their Motto..."In God We Trust"
The god whom they trust is the thing their motto is inscribed on.
With this goal, nothing else matters. Just be as creative as you can, and you shall be rewarded.
Then, after that, when you got nothing else to spend for, do some charity.

Then why the heavy handed copy protection .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331735)

<RANT>

I recently blew $380 on Microsoft office (CRAP!!! That's expensive!) for my new laptop. It was not long before I not only wished that I hadn't but resented it as well. I had forgotten about their heavy handed copy protection where you have to go through a 10 minute registration process (on the phone -- the Internet is faster) registering the product. This essentially locks your copy of Office to your computer. What happens though if your laptop is stolen? What happens if it gets dropped and broken so you have to get a new laptop? Well your SCREWED and you have to order a NEW copy of Office for ANOTHER $380. What is more, I legitimately purchased the product (my mistake) and they are treating ME like the criminal.

Since Microsoft doesn't trust me, I hereby make a new resolution. Screw you Microsoft! From now on, I'll take my $380 and use it to take the kids on vacation, treat the wife to dinner, or do something much more worthwhile. The only Office product that I'll install is one where they trust me and if I drop my laptop and get a new one, I can install it on the new laptop for FREE!!! From now on, I'm only going to install OpenOffice not only on my personal computers but all the computers for my two businesses. (I own two - one software dev and the other not.)

Microsoft, you've made an OpenOffice believer out of me! Thank you and Screw you.

</RANT>

wow, you did hose yourself (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331953)

the plain language on my boxen says I can install it on my home pc, and my laptop, for the one purchase....so long as I don't use both copies
at the same time-- it's a one use at a time license....

with the one purchase copy...

this is no secreat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331843)

This has been M$ strategy for ever. You can buy pirated copies of software in Asia for a $1. Then all of a sudden, in Singapore they started cracking down on illegal software, and now you have to pay the US prices there for the software. There were crackdowns in China as well. M$ turned out to be the ultimate drug dealer!

Remember this one ? (1)

zaibazu (976612) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331869)

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/11/143523 1&from=rss [slashdot.org] Having a huge percentage of people being used to one software product makes it more probable that they buy it when they finally have the money and the choice.

gaming (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331987)

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.

Allegedly Seiko (1)

Budenny (888916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331989)

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.
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