Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Microsoft's new anti-piracy campaign

According to the BSA software companies lose over 30 billion dollar of revenue (although some have some reservations over that particular number) because of software piracy. And over the years there have been numerous attempts to fight this criminal activity with different levels of success.

Now Microsoft comes with a new campaign which takes a somewhat different approach. Dressed up as a CD containing software with the necessary keys, when booted up it will give the Windows "Blue screen of death" and then will display a message saying that the user is lucky that it didn't really make the system crash.

A little computer geek humor in this is the fact that Microsoft takes one of its OS problems and implies that when using the genuine product this will not happen. Anyone ever using a windows machine knows this can happen whether you're using the legal software or not. But that's a bit besides the point and it's the message that counts.

But if this new approach will work remains to be seen. The fact of the matter is that this is a problem that is just deeper then people using unlicensed software. For instance when buying a new computer from say Dell with an OEM license for Microsoft, you don't get an original Microsoft CD but a restore CD from Dell. So when you have a problem with your PC, the only option you have is using that particular CD which restores your entire PC. Not only you'll run the risk of losing data because it overwrites the harddisk but you'll get that pre-installed Dell software back you probably erased in the first place. So if someone offers you a copied CD with just the OS it's much more convenient and easy to fix your problem. Using that CD is using software that is pirated. But that has nothing to do with denying software companies their money (you've paid for the license when purchasing the PC) but all with common sense.

Microsoft and other software companies have to take a long and hard look at how they want their software to be distributed and sold, not only so that they can make a nice profit out of it, but also to suit the need of the consumers and make it less desirable to resort to using pirated software.

Original link by Digg

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