[LINK] Analyst: Microsoft anti-piracy efforts to backfire, By Antone Gon

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Sat Dec 16 18:10:45 AEDT 2006

On 16/12/2006, at 4:45 PM, David Boxall wrote:

> Ready, fire, aim ...
>> From
> <http://www.itnews.com.au/newsstory.aspx? 
> CIaNID=43614&eid=1&edate=20061215>
> Microsoft's push to get Windows customers to verify online that  
> they're running a legal version of the operating system will  
> backfire next year, driving some users to rival Linux, a market  
> research firm says.

....where 'some' >0, notably. Sure - those who have pirated the  
software in the first place will now have to reconsider buying a  
legitimate copy.

> While the Windows Genuine Advantage program is voluntary, Microsoft  
> is forcing users to opt-in by refusing to provide some updates,  
> unless it can verify their OS is not pirated. This heavy-handed  
> approach is sure to drive users of illegitimate versions of Windows  
> to the competing open-source operating system, IDC said in its top  
> 10 infrastructure software predictions for 2007.

I doubt it. Perhaps wishful thinking, but seriously, when is  
protecting the rights of the seller 'heavy-handed'? IDC's other nine  
predictions must be taken with a grain of salt with this kind of  

> While it's true that losing people who aren't paying for the  
> software is arguably a good thing for Microsoft, it's certain to  
> cause an uptick over time in Linux's market share. "We don't think  
> this is a pure win for Microsoft," IDC analyst Al Gillen said.  
> "This is going to accelerate the Linux market as well."

Accelerate? Hardly. Firstly, I suspect that for every protection  
system built by Microsoft, there will be hackers finding a  
'solution' (as has been reported already). Secondly, Microsoft will  
up the ante by closing subsequent loopholes, and 'forcing' users to  
pay for the software that they have pirated.

I doubt that many will lose sleep over paying for this software in  
most developed countries, and in those countries where the cost of  
the software is significant (though not in real terms, surely),  
further loopholes will undoubtedly be exploited.

If anything, it *might* even allow Microsoft to drop the price of the  
software thanks to more genuine sales, allowing more users to  
experience the 'Microsoft Genuine Advantage'. Hardly a 'backfire',  
for either Microsoft, or consumers of its software.

I'm no apologist for Microsoft, but I see this kind of reporting (and  
prediction forecasting) to be simply irresponsible, and weak.


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