Feeds

If you must pirate, use counterfeit Windows

MS exec gets pragmatic about piracy

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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.

Raikes' stance seems at odds with the Microsoft's recent aggressive anti-piracy push, via its controversial Windows Genuine Advantage Programme, which resulted in many instances where legitimate users were identified as using "dodgy" software. And that's to say nothing of the millions Microsoft spends every year on other anti-piracy initiatives.

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.

Raikes' intervention provides a welcome perspective on the software piracy debate which has for a long time been dominated by the simplistic argument, wheeled out ad nauseum by industry groups such as the Business Software Alliance, that a copy of pirated software is equivalent to a lost sale. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.