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December 02, 2003

Longhorn piracy 'coup'?

The BBC is reporting that "pirated versions of Microsoft's next generation computer operating system are on sale in Malaysia, more than a year before the official release date," and quotes "software industry sources" as saying "it was the piracy coup of the decade."

Er, which decade are they living in?

It's clear from the rest of the article that what the pirates are selling are the PDC bits. These are so widely available that getting hold of them is hardly a 'coup.' And anyone who has used the PDC version of Longhorn knows that huge amounts of it just aren't there, and the bits that are run like a three-legged dog. After all, it's a developer preview, intended to get the key technologies in front of programmers. It's not, at this stage, a usable operating system.

So having copies available for $2 is hardly a big deal. People will buy it, no doubt: developers will buy it to play with and users will buy it because they don't know that they're better off with (an equally pirated copy of) XP at this stage. But this won't cut into the eventual Longhorn revenue stream because the pirated PDC version simply isn't good enough to compete with the eventual RTM.

The big deal, of course, comes when they start pirating the release candidates and RTM versions...

December 2, 2003 in PDC, Software | Permalink


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