Microsoft ramps up anti-piracy offensive

Microsoft ramps up anti-piracy offensive

Summary: Microsoft today released the results of a survey which it claimed showed that close to half of Australians believed that pirating software was "OK", and that the younger you are, the more likely you are to think it's acceptable.

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update Microsoft today released the results of a survey which it claimed showed that close to half of Australians believed that pirating software was "OK", and that the younger you are, the more likely you are to think it's acceptable.

(Pirate flag 3 image by
Sophie, Royalty free)

The study, conducted by Galaxy Research, found that 45 per cent of the Australians sampled believe "it's OK, or at least OK in some situations", to download illegal copies of proprietary software.

The acceptance of pirated software also varied markedly with age. Of the 16- to 24-year olds surveyed, 64 per cent believed it was "OK or OK in some situations" to pirate software. On the other hand, only 36 per cent of over 50s surveyed had the same belief.

The study also found that 59 per cent of Australians "either weren't sure or didn't believe there to be any differences" between pirate and licensed software.

An IDC study estimated that Australia had a 28 per cent software piracy rate in 2007, suggesting that not everyone who believes it's acceptable to pirate software does so.

In order to combat piracy, Microsoft said that from today, Office customers would be able to install licence notifications through automatic updates known as Office Genuine Advantage. This notification ensures that installed copies of Office are legally licensed. If the update establishes the copy of Office is pirated, a pop-up dialog box will alert the user and provide options on how to acquire genuine Microsoft Office.

The update will not affect the way Microsoft Office works on individual computers and the user can continue to use Office as before. Those who find they are the victim of counterfeit software can submit a report to Microsoft and may be eligible to receive a free legitimate licence.

Topics: Piracy, Government AU, Security, Software

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6 comments
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  • Well done Galaxy Research!!!

    "The study also found that 59 per cent of Australians "either weren't sure or didn't believe there to be any differences" between pirate and licensed software."????

    This titbit seriously undermines the value of any other results?

    It's akin to reporting that 45 Percent of Australians prefer apples over oranges, and then remarking that 60 of Australians either weren't sure or didn't believe there to be any differences between apples and oranges.

    Allow me to interpret .....

    This paticular survey was 20% badly worded, 20% poorly laid out, most likely went on for 40% too long and was interpreted by someone with only 20% of normal mental capacity!
    anonymous
  • Not apples and oranges

    More like possibly blemished and good.

    I interpreted the wording above to be asking whetehr there was any thing intrinsically different between a genuine and pirated software.

    To most, the two might be expected to be the same, just one not paid for. They may have no idea the the code in a pirated copy may have been tampered with.
    anonymous
  • Missing the point.

    The problem is that the people interviewed may have been confused about the question.

    If I was asked if there was a difference between pirated and licensed software, I would've said that, apart from the crack or fake activation key, nothing. I would've taken it at face value and pointed out the differences of the differing softwares, rather than the different means of acquiring the software.

    As for pirating software, well it's wrong, but sadly It's often easier to pirate than use the software normally with the DMR they are starting to use.
    anonymous
  • Microsoft for OSS

    Looks like a good initiative of Microsoft PR to promote Linux and OSS adoption in Australia.
    anonymous
  • OSS is also pirated

    Here's some food for thought...

    Many companies that use OSS do the equivalent of pirating software and it's always for profit. The consumer electronics market is rife with industrial piracy. Take for example companies like Samsung or Topfield - they take Open Source Software, build TVs and PVRs based on the work of others, then flatly refuse to comply with the license.

    The unfairness of this game becomes obvious when you see Microsoft with billions of dollars in their pockets chasing low income families for a license on their kids educational computer. What are the chances of someone like me getting Samsung to respect the terms of the license for my code and release the source?
    anonymous
  • MS blows smoke up my arse.

    On a point of order.....

    OK Microsoft has made LOTS and LOTS of really shitty software - that performs poorly or is such utter junk; and it is infestable with everything.

    So given that if perhaps I were to say in nice round figures - spend $5000 on home software over the last 20 years.

    If I were to deduct the amount of extra money I have had to spend on antivirus software work arounds, alternative software etc., all the hours I have had... no make that all the MONTHS and MONTHS I have had to spend scanning and debugging the software; and all the time I have had to spend working on and repairing or replacing all the "incredibly shit" software and all the problems it has created for me...

    i.e. If Microsoft Defender is so great it picks up NOTHING, and yet 3 other antivirals picked up a number of small infestations....

    This is SO typically Microsoft.

    Ummmmmm as a home grown IT department manager, how much then, would Microsoft owe me?

    If they are quite at liberty to release crapware onto the market; for the mass consumer perpetual beta testing, then they either ought to pay us all, OR not expect payment for their crapware and ALL of the very time intensive and expensive and lost productivity - that their rolling hatchet jobs have cost everyone else.

    I bet this concept wasn't in their garbage survey.
    anonymous