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Elton John blags counterfeit Windows

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Something you thought you'd never hear uttered from Redmond's lips was the announcement that if you must pirate, use a counterfeit copy of Windows. Keeps out those nasty competitors, you see.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else," So, what other competing operating systems are people likely to pirate? Are there a lot of people running cracked copies of Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org then?

This was microsofts policy right up until the WGA nonsense. The idea I believe was to crush OS/2 Microsoft made their software accessible to pirates in many ways including guessable license keys, keys for windows for workgroups working on windows 95/98, and non of the copy protection mechanisms that were available eg secrom, safedisc. Of course the OEM bundles were pretty limited to certain hardware, but a basic OS and a stack of driver discs generally got around that problem.

If microsoft want to make their software piratable now they'll have a hard time, they've already lost a lot of home users to ubuntu because of the WGA. To then open the door to piracy means that their investors will raise an eyebrow, and the policy just doesn't work anymore, they've been too agressive with customers in the past the reputation is irrevocably damaged. It won't bring in revenue and won't stop people switching to mac/linux.

More fluid licencing schemes are required, less pricey, and less like someone telling you what you're not allowed to do. For instance, when you buy a copy of OSX you get a 'family license' which is a set of 4 software coupons, when you buy vista, it will only work on one machine and will cost 4/5 times the amount for something which is less secure, less usable, less interesting and with crappy windows designers painting it up like teletubby land.


"if you're not going to pay for software, at least use Windows rather than Linux" The "pirated copy=lost sale" is bogus arithmetic and always has been; no one who ever thought about it for more than a millisecond believed it but it makes good copy for press releases - "economy losing x bazillions to piracy". Gibberstistics for lobbyists, is all.

Microsoft benefitting from Piracy isn't exactly news, though it's nice to finally see them admit it.

Everyone has known for years that this was the case, right back to the days of yore when MSDOS only because the industry standard because everyone copied it. Microsoft have written completely ineffective antipiracy measures into their software when they could have made one that worked, and even allow people to (with the employers permission) use copies of the software they use at work, on their computers at home under their employeers licence.

Bring on the .NET era that microsoft heralded 5 years ago, where everything is web based and paid for weekly. (Pity google have beaten they to the prize!)


"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."

It certainly does add an interesting new turn to the debate, and is effectively what many people, myself included, have been saying for a long time. Quite simply, I recon that had MS been able to completely stop piracy of it's products then it would not be in the dominant position it is now. I'm that many, many, many people who previously (and still) used pirate copies of (for example) MS Office would not pay hundreds of pounds to use it legally - especially when there are cheap or free alternatives that are more than adequate for the majority of home users.

So in that respect, perhaps we should urge Microsoft to be as arrogant and destructive as it can - so as to drive it's actual and potential customers to alternative products :-)


Oh, come on John! It has been obvious for years that MS have not been interested in catching the home pirates, or the small PC suppliers who will load on a copy "under the table". Having Windows on people's home computers (like having them in schools - MS indulging in some "cut-price" piracy itself there) encourages its use in the workplace, and we all know that the business world, with its volume pricing, is where MS makes the profits. Stuart

Arrr. Beware, me hearties! 'Tis guised as a gesture to be makin' us all into privateers. But thar be hidden horrible tidin's. How long afore that scurvy Microsoft be usin' it's industry might to force the great grand pirate software providers to only be carryin' pirated Microsoft booty? It'll be placin' the black spot on the whole sweet trade. Swaggies'll be hardly worth the lootin'.

A new breed of pirate emerged this week, using "chocolates and charm" rather than looting to make off with £15m worth of diamonds. His sweet methods certainly melted your hearts:

And people are talking about, sigh, security all the time... Maybe we should ban/eradicate stupidity first. I can only applaude the Gentleman for making this point so clear without the need for resorting to 419 methods. -- Greetings Bertho

Ah, a blagger from the old school. No shooters, no hostages, no nastiness. You almost want him to get away with it... Mike

Hello Lester, Anyone been humming the Pink Panther music in the office today? If only all thieves were as pleasant sounding as this chap... I hope that he does get caught (he's a thief), but I hope they go easy on him. The ones who should get the most aggro should be the stupid bloody bank that let him in. And Barclays are thinking of 'merging' with them, or this just Barclays sweet talking their way in so they can take over where this diamond thief left off? Matthew

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