Microsoft, Windows 8 and Piracy – an interesting conundrum

Microsoft, Windows 8 and Piracy – an interesting conundrum

So as you all know, we are all about to be introduced to the lates Operating System from Microsoft – Windows 8.

There is one thing that I have recently started to wonder about and that is software theft and piracy. Now obviously I don’t condone that and it is wrong.

DO NOT SHARE OR LEAK SOFTWARE (there, I’m done).

I do think that this is going to be an interesting dilemma for Microsoft re: Windows 8.

On one hand, Microsoft cannot and will not officially tolerate software piracy because it is by definition, a software company. It has to (rightfully) protect the billions it spends annually on IP.

On the other hand, this Operating System is different. It’s a transitional OS and Microsoft need as many people as possible to start adopting the OS and speaking the Metro language.

What then will the company do?

I have absolutely no affiliation with Microsoft and therefore this is just a theory but I would guess that Microsoft will do something kind of in the middle and stay relatively silent about the issue. In addition, they have lowered the price of the upgrade for the OS so that should help with piracy in parts of the western world where it would make a difference.

In Africa and the rest of the developing world, $39.99 is a tremendous amount of money so I suspect that the upgrade price and policy will be largely ignored.

I have absolutely no affiliation with Microsoft and therefore this is just a theory but I would imagine that Windows 9 would have a lot more emphasis on security and anti-sharing than this OS will. Right now, I suspect that software piracy is the least important thing on Microsoft’s mid.

Just my 10 cents.

What do you guys and girls think?

P.S. Proactive apology to the hackers and leakers out there if Microsoft feel they have to address this now. It was a good topic for a blog post.

🙂

  • http://gplus.to/Tarkus Tarkus

    Interesting theory, but it makes a lot of sense. They need as many people using Windows 8 as possible, regardless of how they get it. That’s why they’re offering it so cheap.

    • grs_dev

      They do not need to ignore licensing. They have a new revenue model that was never possible before. It’s called app profit sharing. They could literally give the OS away for free in return for the user base that will overnight (we’re speaking in business years here) become validated, scrubbed, legitimate marketable users.

      If you noticed Microsoft’s claims in the last couple of years around Windows Live, they’ve been touting 500 Million users. That was right around the time when the world was buzzing about Facebook reaching the 500 Million user mark. That’s when the industry began talking about Facebook’s market value and its viability as a marketing platform.

      There is a reason why Microsoft is focusing with Windows Phone on International growth at the expense of US marketshare. The US market is very well serviced in the digital marketing space.

      The US is a revenue protection market and not a growth market in 2012 at least. Many business and enterprise users who have been riding the XP ship until it can sail no more will move on to Windows 7. That is a direct contribution to Microsoft’s bottom line, and a very good one from a timing perspective. Growth opportunities are definitely in AMEA, and other developing countries. It’s a race to the finish line there and the battlefield is wide open. Earlier this year there were stories around what Google was doing in Africa and how they were using shady tactics. Microsoft is employing a variety of strategies to assert their dominance. Lots and lots of bets going on here.

      Why would they need to worry about piracy, when the real objective is to ramp up the user base. Regardless of actual units sold, more users on live translates into more revenues from content. Whether that content is apps purchased from the Marketplace or ads delivered strategically into Metro style apps that used to reside in browsers doesn’t matter. In fact the less content is consumed in a browser on Windows 8 the better. It means Metro is paying dividend. The point behind metro is to eliminate the user’s need to launch a browser to access data and apps which ultimately fuel ecosystems such as google’s.

      They can give away Windows 8/9/10/n and turn a profit all while taking a shot at the heart of google the closest competitor with a fighting chance to overthrow Microsoft on the PC.

      • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

        That’s a great point. Assuming the OS takes off, that will be a substantial amount of revenue.

  • fordcom

    In Africa and the rest of the developing world, $39.99 is a tremendous amount of money so I suspect that the upgrade price and policy will be largely ignored. Agree with you on this point