back to article Microsoft urges resellers to play it straight, beef up revs

Microsoft has claimed that each dollar it “loses” to software piracy equals $5.50 in “lost opportunities” to the firm’s channel partners. A Microsoft-sponsored white paper (pdf) released by IT analyst house IDC yesterday highlights the effects of copyright infringement on the software ecosystem across the tech industry. The …


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  1. Jess
    Paris Hilton


    Unless the cost of re-installing legitimate Microsoft software when it suddenly decides it's a pirate copy, is higher than anyone could imagine.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a thought.

    If re-sellers sold PC's with open source software, there would be no overhead for the software itself, no licensing issues and make money on hardware and service contracts.

    Imagine that.

  3. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    even more "how?"

    We already have "Piracy" causing losses of trillions. This would be 5.5 x trillions.

    Who is getting this money, because the average working wage is smaller, the proportion of the money held by the richest 5% is going up and the earnings of the super-rich (millionaires) is going up at an inflation-busting 9%.

    The conclusion is obvious: the rich people are pirating all the software and pocketing the difference.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    fugures are all wrong....

    they sit there in a brain storming session and decide how may unlicensed copies of software are in use....

    they then decide that if every pirate copy had been paid for then that's how much loss there was...

    that they don't understand or ignore is that a massive proportion of the pirate users would be still using windows 2000 or windows 98SE...

    there is also a market emerging for broken computers with legitimate windows XP license stickers on them to build a brand new PC in it. you can pick up a broken PC for next to nothing, and by the time you have stripped out and sold on ebay the working parts, you get a windows XP license for free... i have even seen one or two pc's around with the license sticker that is obviously been cut off the original PC and mounted on the new one....

    mine is the one with the cordless Dremmel multi in the pocket

  5. Dave


    There is only so much cash in the world - if everyone paid up for the MS software that they used, then they would have that much LESS money to pay for other things.

  6. Thomas


    That sort of surely has to have sort of impact on Microsoft's bottom line, by driving away legitimate users? I wonder what proportion of Apple's sales are people making a protest vote?

    Hopefully not many, as Apple aren't exactly unobjectionable.

  7. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Immaculate Conception? .......Virtualisation of AIdDrivers for Reality?*

    "Unless the cost of re-installing legitimate Microsoft software when it suddenly decides it's a pirate copy, is higher than anyone could imagine." ... By Jess Posted Thursday 10th July 2008 13:34 GMT

    :-) Priceless, Jess.

    * And yes, that is a serious question for AI Boffins.......although it is Really a Statement.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Wait a minute...

    ""Worse, in many emerging markets where legally licensed software is difficult even to obtain, it can be next to impossible for a legitimate partner to operate," said Redmond."

    If its difficult to get the legal software over there, then they're not selling it. If they're not selling it then they're probably not actually losing anything to Piracy in those markets. And why aren't they trying to stop piracy in these emerging markets more than their developed markets? Their piracy problem in developed markets isn't too bad; most companies won't pirate software as they know they'll be caught and fined, and the majority of individuals probably don't even change their OS from the day their PC is shipped to them. In emerging markets, however, there's a far worse culture of corporate piracy. So descend harshly on them with local lawyers- so as to try and reduce any predjudices against MS by the local legal systems- and sue them into the ground.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Is it still piracy if you can't buy it anymore?

    Tried buying a legit copy of Office 2003 recently? Or Windows XP?

    Maybe Microsoft should stop having so many confusing variations of license. OEM, retail, open subscription, open license, office live. I might be able to explain to my clients why they have to pay £360 for the old version of the same software instead of £170 for the new one, just so that we can use the old version because they hate Office 2007.

    And I still keep hearing "we have to use MS Office because all our clients do". Strange, I have been using Open Office for 4 years and my clients haven't noticed...

  10. Tom

    New Math

    "BSA sums on software piracy and license misuse were misleading because it looked at sale losses rather than retail value."

    They are misleading because they pull the number of copies out of their ass, then fix the loss as a number also pulled out of their ass. Result = ass^2

    And the movie and music lot as just as bad.

  11. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    MS directly control copyright infringement figures...

    If they want higher numbers, just get WGA to report more false positives. If WGA gives a false positive three times on the same machine, that must mean three lost sales!

    I am not convinced that MS or their friends loose a significant amount to piracy. How often to pirates capture a ship loaded with software licenses?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Vote with their wallets

    "in many emerging markets where legally licensed software is difficult even to obtain" - Open Source software is the answer; no need for M$ these days.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Where do the BS M$ accountants get off......???

    Just a little curious here....

    HTF as a reseller/ computer retailer am I supposed to make money on M$ software when the marketplace dictates that I should sell XP Pro OEM for A$200 ( a whole $3 profit over purchase cost ) then have to spend the time and resources to fix M$ fuc#ups like yesterday when the updates destroy a normally widely used functional product like Zone Alarm while all the time competing against the Dells and Hopeless Products that purchase the same software licence for less than $5 a box.

    I actually prefer the end user to load their own software ( pirated, open source, oem, retail...I don't care ), at least that way they won't be expecting free support for their crap windows...

    BTW don't even start the BS suggestion that Vi$ta is in some undocumented mythical way better than XP ...ITS NOT.

  14. Ed Gould
    Gates Horns

    re: Tried buying a legit copy of Office 2003 recently? Or Windows XP?

    Yes I bought a copy of XP last week. It is still available (and legit).

    The basic question as other people have stated are the MS numbers valid?

    My guess is that the MS numbers are somewhat inflated. How much is the real question. I would really seriously doubt any numbers spouted by MS. Does it occur, absolutely and just not only in third world countries. I would suspect quite a bit just in the US alone. There was a TV court case (yea I know) that indicates the problems is wide spread and the so called experts are less than honest themselves.

    The expert had really not a clue as to what is allowable for installation. Putting that aside it is MS's fault for having so many exceptions to the rules that it is all but impossible (even lawyers disagree) as to what is a licensable copy. If MS could honestly draw a line (and stick to it) it might be feasible. MS would probably be the first person(company) to violate what ever rule they come up with and I am talking a common sense enforceable rule. No special rules for people who buy 10,000 copies etc etc.

    The PC and Mac were not fully thought through for the licensing issue as the INTEL CPU has no way of burning in a serial number so it can be retrievable. Some of IBMs do and there is lot of grinding on teeth because of that (usually money is the first gripe). So even if Intel did have a serial number "burnt" into them it would play havoc with the PC industry and I am sure the government would exempt themselves . That would be the only way to stop copies AFAIK.

  15. Charles Manning

    Copying != revenue loss

    Yes, copying is illegal and wrong. People should not use sortware that they have not paid for.

    However, it is a fabrication so say that MS and other vendors are losing serious revenue.

    MS only loses revenue if the user would have bought a legal license if they had not procured a bootleg. Not so! Most bootleggers would not use the software at all if they could not get a bootlegged copy.

  16. Paul Blonde

    Odds and Ends

    "Is it still piracy if you can't buy it anymore?"

    What can't you buy? The Office license you buy now qualifies for you to install Office 2007 OR 2003; the Vista license you buy now qualifies you to install Vista or XP (although the plethora of versions is confusing); where's the problem?

    "Copying != revenue loss"


    "the INTEL CPU has no way of burning in a serial number so it can be retrievable"

    The CPU itself has a serial number, although complaints have forced Intel to allow it to be turned on/off and it is off by default.

    However, as far as I am concerned, fsck them all and replace them with Open Source.

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