[linux-elitists] [silk] a copy of windows costs $42725 in india (fwd from rishab@dxm.org)

Michael Herman michael-lists@thehermans.org
Sat Dec 6 15:26:19 PST 2003

On Sat, Dec 06, 2003 at 03:10:42PM -0500, Mister Bad wrote:
>>>>>> "MH" == Michael Herman <michael-lists@thehermans.org> writes:
>    MH> Also, IMHO, I believe that software piracy is in Microsoft'
>    MH> best interest.  What better way to capture users and have them
>    MH> start using proprietary file formats?
>What value is there to Microsoft in having people use proprietary file
>formats if people don't pay for the software that uses these formats?
>Are you proposing that Microsoft are some kind of anti-Freedom
>advocates? Do they want to get people to use proprietary formats and
>programs even if it means no present or future financial gain to the
>company itself?

Thinking back, when I started using MS Office, there were no copy protection
schemes or forced registrations.  You could put the one copy you bought on as
many machines as you liked and people did.  As MS Office files becase the
standard, Microsoft began cracking down on copying by adding improved
mechanisms for registration.  By the time this crack down began, their
software was being widly used and because of this, also, the defacto standard
for business formats.  People who have been using MS Office for years without
paying are starting to get left behind and they can either continue to use
earlier versions, upgrade or switch to alternative solutions.  

Should people not upgrade, eventually, they will have no choice because
Microsoft themselves will obsolete the file format.

If the upgrade, they will be forced to pay and license the software which is
Microsoft's goal.

Should them move to an alternative solution, they will need to work on
converting their files from MS Office or hope that the conversion works well.
(Please spare me the OpenOffice/StarOffice discusion.  I'm a fan of
OpenOffice, have it on all my machines and use it whenever I can).  Microsoft
will continue to make this challenging by continuing to manipulate the file

In the end, Microsoft will have won because they will have captured more users
who will eventually need to pay.

>What you're saying, then, actually makes sense. I've always suspected
>that this "We need proprietary software to protect our profits" line
>was a little disingenuous. It's all just a ruse! They don't care about
>the money at all! They're just in this to TAKE OUR FREEDOM -- the
>billions of dollars in revenue is just a cover.

Hoho.  That's not what I'm saying at all.  This is all about money.  As a
matter of fact, it's a lot like a drug dealer giving away the first hit of
crack and extending credit.  Once your hooked, you have to pay.

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