Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Microsoft plagued by software piracy

Google report reveals that Microsoft dominates the field in sending takedown requests to shut down sites offering pirated software

Article comments

Microsoft submitted 500,000 takedown requests to Google over the past month related to copyright infringement and software piracy.

Extrapolating that for a whole year - assuming half a million takedown requests a month - that would be six million websites attempting to illegally distribute Microsoft operating systems or applications. And, those are just the ones that are identified. Who knows how many slip through the cracks or fly under the radar?

Windows is by far the dominant operating system in use around the world, and the Microsoft Office suite has a virtual monopoly on the productivity software market. A good chunk of the Windows and Office software in use is pirated, though.

Microsoft has even had issues with unethical use of its software by paying customers. It recently reduced the number of licences available for TechNet subscribers to minimise the chances of piracy.

When it comes to piracy there always seems to be some segment of the population that justifies theft of content based on its cost or availability. For example, with movie piracy the rationale seems to be that if a studio would make a movie available online at a reasonable price people wouldn't need to download rogue pirated copies.

I assume the same argument could be made about Microsoft software. Purchasing an upgrade for Mac OS X only costs about $30, but the upgrade from one version of the Windows operating system to the next can cost up to $200 depending on which flavor of Windows you upgrade to. The Microsoft Office suite starts at $120 and doesn't even offer any upgrade pricing discount.

In my opinion it's a very weak rationalisation to claim that piracy is somehow justified by the cost of a product. Whether it costs $5 or $500 theft is theft. There are plenty of free alternatives for those who can't afford the Microsoft software or simply choose not to spend the money.

But, just playing devil's advocate, it's possible that Microsoft could curb or minimise piracy by pricing the software at a more reasonable point that is more accessible to users with limited budgets. There has to be some point that strikes a balance between the amount of money Microsoft loses due to piracy and the amount of revenue Microsoft could gain by boosting sales with lower prices.

On the other hand, Microsoft just reported record quarterly revenue, so perhaps it's doing just fine despite the rampant piracy. Microsoft could lower its pricing and possibly raise revenue even higher, or it can just continue sending half a million takedown requests per month to Google.


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *