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1 Billion Users per Day, 500 Million Pirates...

Teddy Rogers

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Teddy Rogers
Out of 1 million people who use Microsoft software on a daily basis only half have paid for the licenses and the associated rights to do so, according to the Redmond company. In his keynote at the Public Safety Symposium in Redmond, Washington on April 15, 2009, Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, indicated that no less than 500 million of the users running Microsoft software products out of the 1 billion per day were not paying a single cent to the company. The Redmond giant has so far been unable to do anything else but curb the piracy phenomenon working with governments from markets around the world.

“Now, Microsoft is a company that sells products in 191 different countries around the world. We have a billion people every single day use our products. Only 500 million of them pay us for it so that's sort of an interesting business model, but it works somehow,” Turner revealed.

Microsoft is of course fighting software piracy worldwide, but at the same time it regards pirates as victims first of all, and is emphasizing the need for them to buy legitimate software. However, the Redmond company did in the past take measures to make it easier for its software to be pirated.

An illustrative example in this context is cutting out the Reduced Functionality Mode in Windows Vista with the availability of Service Pack 1. Microsoft removed the kill switch that rendered non-genuine copies of the operating system useless. Moving onward, the Redmond company will not allow RFM to make a comeback in Windows 7, and will make sure that pirated copies of the next iteration of the Windows client behave in the same manner as Windows Vista SP1.

“But clearly the amount of societal change, environmental change, political change is a very, very interesting time, and we've not ever seen or experienced certainly the global macroeconomic issues like this in our lifetime. So, this is a very big inflection point from a lot of different dimensions. I mean, you think about what's going on and the amount of unrest and the amount of uncertainty quite honestly that the global economy is experiencing right now, it's unprecedented,” Turner added.



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