Russia would technologically "still be in the stone age" without the effects of software piracy, according to Timur Tsoriev, Kaspersky corporate communications and pr manager.
He told me that piracy was becoming less of a problem in Russia now, as people are getting more solvent and want to buy quality goods rather than counterfeit products.
However, he said that the Russian IT economy would not be as buoyant as it is without the effects of piracy, as people in the nineties simply could not afford Microsoft licences, whereas now they can. Piracy gave Russians the means to gain competitive IT skills, allowing them to generate wealth, according to Tsoriev.
It is still possible to buy countefeit software under the counter in most shops, said Tsoriev -- it's often sold alongside legitimate software.
Tsoriev said that Microsoft does not pursue enforcement actions in Russia because piracy actually creates a market for its goods -- as everybody uses Windows, Microsoft focuses on selling to businesses.