Pirated software bigger threat than open source: Gates

Pirated software bigger threat than open source: Gates

Summary: Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, Bill Gates, has labelled pirated software as a "tougher competitor" to his company than open-source software.Gates told a media briefing in Sydney this morning: "You know what my toughest competitor is?

Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, Bill Gates, has labelled pirated software as a "tougher competitor" to his company than open-source software.

Gates told a media briefing in Sydney this morning: "You know what my toughest competitor is?

"It's pirated software.

"...if you really look around, you'll find way more pirated Windows than you'll find open source software, way more".

Gates said he believed Microsoft's software represented a "dramatically higher, better choice than anything you'll get in the open source realm.

"It's true the press has taken a few design wins and said 'hey, look at that.

"And you know, that's great, it's almost helpful to us to have a few of those where people try that out.

"[They] see that being their own systems integrator -- they say, okay, I've got this, how do I get the active directory? How do I get the software update piece? How do I get the different applications" And they see ... various things about the intellectual property challenge that'll come into that.

Gates made his remarks during a whirlwind trip to Australia during which he was scheduled to meet with the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard.

According to research conducted for CNET Networks Australia at the start of 2004, corporate information technology users were forecasting a healthy future for popular open source variant Linux on the desktop, with more than three-quarters of respondents saying it will get a little or a lot stronger. The research, which secured almost 600 responses from Australia and New Zealand, also found strong support for Linux' future as a server operating system, with 56.5 percent of respondents saying the open source software would grow stronger and 32.3 percent saying it would grow much stronger.

Windows XP (68.9 percent) and other versions of Windows (62.4 percent) were the only operating systems used at least daily, on average, by a majority of the respondent base.

Topics: Software, Government AU, Microsoft, Piracy

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  • Gates would much prefer you to pirate his software than to try open source.

    It's not as if most people who actually priate Microsoft software could actually afford to pay for it.

    When you pirate his software, you'll probably get 'hooked' and he'll hit you up for money at some point in the future. Want a security patch to fix that gaping new hole in Windows? Pay up, mo-fo.

    Move to open source and you'll be free of Gates forever.
  • Yes of course, that's their tactics-allow there software to be pirated first. Once people are already used to their system, they now come in forcing people for license or else face legal issue; a TROJAN HORSE approach. That's what happened to our country. I believe we now have one of its kind strict Intellectual Property Rights law in the world proposed by Microsoft. They see that they are enjoying the market here.
  • Microsoft doesn't lose any more money from pirated copies of Windows than it does from someone installing linux. It is not like stealing a car from a manufacturing plant (that costs the manufacturer in lost productivity and materials). Stealing software only causes a lost potential sale. I am in no way suggesting it is not wrong to pirate software (I own my windows and office and it cost me a bundle)

    Microsoft are not scared of linux in the fight for the home pc. Linux, although technically superior in many ways, lacks the simplicity that is required in that market. They are definately worried about the impact of linux on its server market. Linux does a good job of File Serving, email and web access , a superior proxy, and a much better job of firewalling (out of the box).

    Currently, the only real alternative to Microsoft on the home desktop (that end users can actually use without buying a book) is a Mac. Microsoft want novice users to look in the direction of linux rather than Mac, as they will quickly find themselves out of their depth, unsure of whether they want kde or gnome. Don't get me wrong, linux is great, you just need to learn how to use it. Keep focusing the media on Open Source and pirated software and they don't think twice about a Mac.
  • MS should sell a bare-bones OS! IE & OExpress should be sold seperately. Making people choose MS or Open Source, this would really show how well they can compete with open source.

    Its an old argument but I know that software pirates would include the best software with the OS if it wasnt already included, and that wouldnt be Internet Explorer or Outlook Express.

    America is a huge home market which is in some respects protected for MS by the Gov. I live in Indonesia where all software is sold for about $1 a CD inc MS, and even here Open Source is picking up popularity because its a more useable safe product.

    The biggest threat to Windows is Linux being able to run 100% of the PC games produced today. This coupled with them selling a bare-bones OS would produce a more vibrant and healthly software market.
  • Gates is living in an ivory tower surrounded by "Yes" men. No one says "your software sucks" to his face. He cannot do what he really should do, which is to take a few months, grow a beard or something like that, and go look at things from a user perspective.

    Maybe he could just get a decent haircut and some contact lenses, who would recognize him then?

    If *he* had to deal with crashing, if *he* had to deal with virus cleanup, if *he* had to watch as the Linux/BSD box in the next cubicle simply ran, and ran, and ran, if *he* had to deal with service packs that break working servers... But He Does Not.

    Piracy is actually beneficial to Microsoft, it just means more future customers who only know Microsoft products. And They Know It!

    Cracking down on piracy, however, makes people angry. That is where F/OSS shines, because there is no piracy what so ever.