back to article Microsoft raises anti-piracy posse

Microsoft is banging the drum for its anti-piracy message, claiming the trade in dodgy software is costing the US 32,000 jobs and billions of dollars in income. The scheme takes a snapshot of what Microsoft is doing every day to counter trade in illegal copies of its software around the world. These range from civil lawsuits …


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  1. Colin Millar

    suffocating competition?

    So, not being satisfied with ripping off their software the pirates actually want to steal MS business model as well - bloody cheek

  2. Daniel Garcia
    Gates Horns

    "create $41bn in economic growth and 32,000 US jobs".

    .....$1.3Mill per job? sorry if i can not bring a single tear to my eye.

  3. Avi

    More realistic numbers please?

    Given that it wasn't mentioned in the article, I presume this study wasn't one which noticed that not all pirated software is a potential sale.

    Certainly when I was pirating software, if I couldn't have it for free I'd use something else that I could. I've never found myself in a position where it's worth my paying for an office suite, for example.

  4. A J Stiles

    That's rich coming from them

    That's rich coming from Microsoft, who have made most of their fortune thanks to piracy.

    As long as it's possible to get a pirate copy of Microsoft Office for nothing, then there's no way anybody can ever get rich selling an alternative office suite -- which might be perfectly adequate for the majority of users' needs -- for £50. All those self-taught Fred-in-the-Sheds with their pirate copies are providing a good reason for businesses to buy Microsoft Office, as opposed to something they might have to teach their staff to use; and Microsoft's practice of changing the save format with each release keeps them having to upgrade.

    If Microsoft had ever actually done a blind thing to make it harder to pirate their software, then their competitors may well have ended up with a share of the market.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    So Microsoft still sell early Visual Basic versions?

    So there is still a market for a software product but Microsoft decide to pull it off the market. Then they complain that people are getting it by piracy?

    I remember when Sony were complaining that the pirates were making more sales and taking more money than Sony because they were selling the software cheaper. Sony explained that they had to charge more because they did loads of advertising. Don't Sony realise that they would make MORE money than the pirates if they reduced the price? Afterall they have the distribution chanel were people will go first.

    Microsofts success is mostly due to piracy anyway. It makes computers more useful to more people and puts them in the dominant position. Advertising makes people aware of the product. Charging money gives the software value which means people want to steal it. Then you dominate both markets. No one can beat you. You can't be undercut since your product is available free. People who are going to pay money will chose your product since it's the one everyone uses.

    Now Micrsoft are dominant they can squeeze the market. However with the release of Vista and plans to squeeze pirates they will push people towards GPL products.

  6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    typical m$

    If vista was'nt so useless and m$ still sold XP, then people would'nt be pirating XP so much now would they.........

  7. James Le Cuirot

    Free software

    Of course, they never mention the savings made by people who probably can't afford to buy their software right now. Not that I advocate this kind of thing but would they be saying this if everyone was using free software instead? Oh wait, they already have...

  8. dervheid

    Piracy rates for Windows XP are much higher than for Vista

    No surprise, but I think they're deluding themselves over the reason.

    Here's a tip on how to beat the 'pirates'.

    The Global software market is just that guys. GLOBAL. Get used to it. You can't expect to get away with charging peanuts for your product in, say, China, and expect the rest of us to pay several times more for the same POS. This, IMHO, is the root cause. The solution; low prices, globally applied. That, along with an upgrade path that's OPTIONAL, as opposed to being virtually compulsory, will go a LONG, LONG way to cutting into piracy.

  9. Random Noise
    Thumb Up

    Quick thinking PR

    I bet whichever PR drone thought that one up is pretty pleased with themselves.

    I'm surprised they didn't throw in "And its making Joe the plumbers kids cry" for additional zeitgeist FUD

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No piracy=less jobs, not more

    Selling more copies of something does not equal more jobs (especially in a company with sales the level of MS's)

    If there was no piracy there would be LESS jobs as they would need less lawyers, software audit people and programmers of DRM! They might need a few more in shipping.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @1.3Mil per job

    That's the old lie that if you give someone £100 then you're giving the economy anything up to £10,000 because it gets spent and spent again and again.

    What really happens is that it gets spent on anime and then most of the money is in Japan being spent and spent again instead.

    Or it's in columbia after being spent on ... something else. Or it's in a bank account never being taxed or spent because someone bought Vista with it.

  12. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Gates Horns

    Bleeding obvious ...

    "But David Finn, Microsoft's associate general for anti-piracy, said he expected the trade in copies of XP to increase when the company stops selling legit copies of it next year"

    Solution: keep selling 'legit copies' of XP at a reasonable price to customers ...

    And as for Vista, I think it's so bloody bad not even the pirates will want to touch it, not because of the "omg advanced anti-piracy controls" ....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Create growth & jobs = getting blood from a stone

    Create growth and jobs? How so? I'd estimate that at least half of the folks that install pirated software do so because they have no money to purchase it ($300+ for a copy of Office), or would do without if they had to buy it. So at the very least, MS's estimates are grossly inflated. If somehow software was instantly made pirate-proof, it wouldn't put the money to purchase it in people's pockets, especially in this economy. It's not the big companies that are stealing software, it's the 17-30 yo 'slackers' and third-world countries--which likely would do without or go to Open Source freeware if really pushed. I have some sympathy to the developers and companies, but it's the same argument being used against music downloaders, albeit slightly more justified.

  14. wulff heiss
    Thumb Down

    MS and piracy

    when i last emailed/called them because of a site selling pirated SW (it also had a nice... "additional value" software pack, including a nice, powerful email engine), the person on the other end of the line told me they don't care.. some weeks ago... weird.

  15. bass daddy

    I think not chaps

    "Piracy rates for Windows XP are much higher than for Vista, which Microsoft credits to Vista's anti-piracy technology rather than its popularity"

    Hmmmmm according to a friend (honest Gov) the latest cracks even allow you to brand your pirated copy of Vista, download the latest service pack and merrily carry on using your machine.

    Back to drawing board,eh guys?!!

  16. Graham Marsden
    Gates Horns

    "killing American jobs and suffocating competition"

    Fish... barrel...


  17. Anonymous Coward

    Go on Ballmer !

    Turn up the anti piracy heat and push all the developing countries into the arms of Linux :)

  18. Rick
    Thumb Down


    "Piracy rates for Windows XP are much higher than for Vista, which Microsoft credits to Vista's anti-piracy technology rather than its popularity"

    You really want me to believe that this is true?

    "One recent survey shows that by the end of 2008, the majority of businesses will have 9 percent of the PCs running Vista, increasing to 28 percent in 2010. Microsoft needs to realize that Windows Vista is a lame duck and their recently unveiled $300 million ad campaign crafted to instill confidence in the flailing operating system probably won't achieve the desired results."

    "A new survey by KACE, a systems management appliance company, suggests that 60 percent of those surveyed have no plans to deploy Microsoft Windows Vista, a 10 percent rise over a similar survey administered by KACE in November 2007. A full 42 percent of these are actively exploring Vista alternatives, with 11 percent having made the leap to alternative platforms like Mac OS X or Linux."

  19. Anonymous Coward

    You know...

    I wouldn't mind so much if I bought a product and got a reasonable amount of use out of it for my money, or it did what it said on the tin reliably. The problem with this is that when they change the operating system, everything else goes with it and I've got to pay for a new version of Photoshop (CS3 is barely out of its nappies and CS4 is on the way) and I have to upgrade Office because everyone else has upgraded and I can't open their files.

    The total cost of ownership of a M$ system is ridiculous. By cutting the pirates, they're just forcing people over to Linux. When that happens, the software vendors will start producing their products for Linux, and when the likes of Photoshop and mainstream games manufacturers finally embrace Linux, then Microsoft will be completely dead in the home ... which was where it was hoping to be.

    What's the point of Microsoft trying to enforce anti-piracy in a recession? People have less money and are more likely to bin the PC than fork over dosh they don't have.

    I only have one M$ PC and that is to run games on. The others all run Linux.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "Piracy ...American jobs..competition.."

    Its got to be Paris as she knows when something smells real fishy ....

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @Boris the Cockroach



  22. Pierre

    Usual BS

    Pirated MS products are definitely NOT a loss for MS. That's a loss for their competitors. That's probably all that is preventing Linux and Apple OS from totally wiping Windows from the face of earth. So yeah, I hope MS will manage to put an end to piracy -and to it's own existence.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Shiver me timbers

    Arrr, they be a scurvy bunch, but if ye all be installin xubuntu now, they'll be walkin tha plank afore the sun goes over tha yardarm, arrr!

  24. yeah, right.


    What an utter load of steaming bull excrement. I wonder whose arse they pulled those numbers out of?

  25. Andraž Levstik

    It still wouldn't help them much though...

    "McKenna said buying fake software was not like buying a fake scarf or

    handbag because you could not know what damage it could do to your


    Same could be said for buying any proprietary piece of software and running it.

  26. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    trade in copies of XP to increase

    Let's make one thing clear : if MS is not selling XP any more, then copying XP is not piracy and the company is not losing money. Well it is, but it can't complain about it.

    I might even go a step further and say that somebody should sue. There is no technical reason to retire XP at this point, it is still compatible with current hardware and a large proportion of users have decided that it does the job well enough. Therefor, putting a stop to XP sales is tantamount to a refusal to sell.

    Of course, that argument will probably never sail in court, but this is the first time that we have the case where the latest and brightest (Vista) is massively shunned by the market which prefers the old, clunky but functional XP. When XP came out, it was indeed an improvement over 98, so there was little question but to upgrade and nobody cried when 98 was "retired".

    Vista is not an improvement over XP, it is an impediment and an intrusion into the privacy of innocents. People don't like it, people don't want it, and XP is still the order of the day.

    By that reasoning, MS has the duty to continue selling and supporting XP since the market demands it does so.

    I'm sure there's a lawyer somewhere that can argue this successfully.

    Even so, the day MS stops selling XP is the day it can no longer complain about people copying it. It's the only solution left, and it'll be MS's fault.

    I'm waiting for the day MS stops the authentication servers. If the current trend continues and XP remains on the market radar, MS will have one hell of a backlash.

  27. Alex


    I wonder if they are including the decrease in sales from people installing Linux in those figures... School boy error, but it's probably very likely they have done!

    As for Vista not being pirated.. well it's probably because the pirates don't want to pirate a POS.. Simple as really.

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