In the software industry, piracy results in the loss of
billions of dollars every year. It is estimated that over 35% of all
software installations worldwide are pirated (22% in North America). That
number is even higher in China and Vietnam where software piracy is estimated at 90% and
In 2005, piracy cost the software industry $35 billion USD
in lost revenue. Microsoft, which bets heavily on its Windows and Office
software, is most often the target of pirates. Microsoft senior attorney Bonnie
MacNaughton estimates that more than 33% of all
Microsoft software is pirated.
This comes as no surprise to Romanian President Traian Basescu. It is estimated that 70% of the software used in Romania is pirated --
and President Basescu is proud of it.
In a recent
joint news conference with Microsoft chairman and founder Bill Gates,
Basescu had this to say about piracy; "Piracy helped the young generation
discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania."
He continued, "It helped Romanians improve their
creative capacity in the IT industry, which has become famous around the world
... Ten years ago, it was an investment in Romania's friendship with Microsoft
and with Bill Gates."
Not surprisingly, Bill Gates had no comment for Basescu's
Microsoft has taken many steps to protect Windows Vista from
pirates. The company has implemented its so-called Software Protection
Program and Windows Volume Activation 2.0 to prevent volume license keys
from making their way out into the open.
However, it wasn't long after the announcement of Volume
Activation 2.0 that pirates
found a way to circumvent it. And just days before the worldwide consumer
launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007, pirated
copies were sitting on store shelves in China for a few bucks a piece.