[photopress:IT_Software_Pirate.jpg,full,alignright]Microsoft’s recent jump in Windows sales can be traced in part to a basic concept — getting more people who use its programs to pay for them.
The company says efforts to curb software piracy have added to its revenue in each of its last two quarters, helping it exceed Wall Street’s expectations.
One analyst says the trend may add a cumulative total of more than $1 billion to Microsoft’s PC Windows revenue over five years.
Microsoft said last week that anti-piracy initiatives in developing nations were part of the reason it saw a spike in Windows revenue during its latest quarter.
Chris Liddell, the company’s chief financial officer, in a call with analysts said the piracy reduction ‘has been a very good trend and it certainly, in the last two to three quarters, has picked up from what we’ve seen in the previous two to three years.’
Liddell credited factors including a spate of legal actions against software counterfeiters in more than 20 countries.
This is all being announced by Microsoft as if it were news. It is not. Microsoft, from its very beginning, has been focussed on extracting more money from the product by fighting the copying of programs.
Back in 1975 the January issue of Popular Electronics described the Altair 8800. Bill Gates and his then partner Paul Allen wrote a form of Altair BASIC and this was the start of Microsoft.
Microsoft’s BASIC was popular with computer hobbyists, but Bill Gates discovered that a pre-market copy had leaked into the community and was being widely copied and distributed.
In February 1976, Gates wrote an Open Letter to Hobbyists in the MITS newsletter saying that MITS could not continue to produce, distribute, and maintain high-quality software without payment.
We can therefore date this anti-piracy campaign quite accurately from February 1976 (even though the company was then called Micro-soft) and continuing unabated to this day.
It was an obsession with Bill Gates and thus became an obsession with Microsoft. And in some places like China it is working.
Last summer, for example, Microsoft and the Chinese government announced the bust of a counterfeiting syndicate that the company called the largest it had ever seen — responsible for distributing more than $2 billion in pirated programs.
Also in China, major PC vendors have made commitments to ship computers with legal software preinstalled, and the Chinese government has made a push to use legal software itself.
Source: Seattle PI
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