Feeds

If you must pirate, use counterfeit Windows

MS exec gets pragmatic about piracy

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes
Big Red's cloud is safe and Oracle Linux 6 has been patched, but Java has some issues
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.