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Microsoft Fires Back at Pirates

Pirate-themed humor isn't as funny as it used to be, what with real pirates making news now in fairly gruesome ways.

So, on Microsoft's Anti-Piracy Day -- which was Tuesday, in case it wasn't pre-programmed into your Outlook calendar -- we were already planning to eschew the walk-the-plank, peg-leg-and-eye-patch theme. Then we noticed that somebody -- from your editor's hometown newspaper (well, Web site, anyway), no less -- had done it for us. So, we thank you, The Dallas Morning News, for spicing up RCPU this week. Yarr and all that to you.

What did we learn about piracy from Microsoft this week? Not that much, really, that we didn't know already. Piracy, it turns out, is costly for the software industry and for partners, and Microsoft has a bunch of educational and legal campaigns in place to fight it. Which is good, of course -- and we're not here to belittle anti-piracy efforts at all. (Actually, one thing we did learn is that pirates don't much like Vista, either.)

In fact, the only reason we're writing about this topic this week is because it's been an oddly slow news week for the middle of October, and we found a quote from Microsoft's press materials just as cringe-worthy as the blogger at the News found it:

"It turned out that I had unintentionally purchased a counterfeit copy from an online auction site. The seller had said it was a genuine, unopened product. I was outraged that he had ripped me off. The WGA program turned out to be cool, and I got a genuine copy of the software. I think that Microsoft is the best and I am a Microsoft user for life!"

OK, OK, we're all for combating piracy and all...but "WGA turned out to be really cool"? Good night. Somebody needs to walk the plank for that one. Yarr! (Sorry, we restrained ourselves for as long as we could.)

How does piracy affect your business? What do you think of Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts? Let us know at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 10/22/2008 at 1:22 PM


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