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Microsoft commissioned IDC for the pirated software report

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has released a new white paper -- commissioned by Microsoft -- that focuses on counterfeit and pirated software use. 

The paper, titled "The Dangerous World of Counterfeit and Pirated Software: How Pirated Software Can Compromise the Cybersecurity of Consumers, Enterprises, and Nations...and the Resultant Costs in Time and Money," said that about 33 percent of software is counterfeit. 

The paper also said the malware market will reach $114 billion this year thanks to counterfeit software. In addition, consumers will waste about 1.5 billion hours dealing with this malware. 

This paper was made using information from a 10-country survey of 1,104 consumer respondents, 973 business user respondents and 268 CIO/IT manager respondents. 

Some highlights from the report include the fact that 78 percent of pirated software has spyware attached; 45 percent of users had to uninstall their pirated software because of computer performance issues; those who need to visit websites for stolen activation keys suffer a greater risk of getting a Trojan or adware infection by about 36 percent, and the total worldwide amount spent fighting issues related with counterfeit software (identity theft, repair, recovering data, etc.) is $22 billion. 

"Yes, over the next seven years, the installed base of PCs will grow by a factor of less 
than 1.5 — versus a factor of 3 in the past seven years — but software-laden phones
and tablets will take up the slack," said the IDC white paper. "And these mobile devices may be even harder to manage — and keep secure — in enterprise settings than PCs. Nor is it likely that the creators of malware and of counterfeit software will depart a lucrative business that may be one of the safest criminal environments within which to operate.
"It seems logical to infer, then, that the security risks faced by users of counterfeit software can only increase. Which is the reason we conducted this research: to quantify those risks and help end users and enterprises become aware of them.
"But the best prevention is simply to use the genuine item. This means procuring 
computers and software from trusted sources, avoiding software with too-good-to-be-true prices, and following activation and registration protocols."

Microsoft definitely makes strong efforts to combat piracy. In 2006, it sued resellers for selling pirated software. Just last year, it accused UK retailer Comet Group PLC of being a kingpin of the software piracy world -- devoting an entire factory to the sale of illicit goods.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer even blamed piracy for low Windows Vista sales in 2007. 

Source: Microsoft

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RE: How accurate is this estimate....REALLY?
By Strunf on 3/27/2013 8:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
Do not mix up things... DRM NEVER stopped people from pirating, you also wrongly assume that when some guy pirates lets say Photoshop Adobe will lose money, that's not the case 90% (if not more) people that pirate Photoshop do it cause they can but wouldn't otherwise buy it, so for Adobe this guy that pirates Photoshop represent nothing.

With games is a bit the same I see people pirating games cause it's definitely cheaper and cause it is very often more convenient (as in no DRM limitations, no 3rd party software need, etc), these pirates would otherwise not buy the game or wait till the price goes down...

In the past everyone was copying Floppy disks back and forth, the same with video and audio tapes, the majors should stop making it look like it's a new thing related to the Internet, the reasons people pirate today is no different than in the past, cheaper (or free) is and will ALWAYS be more appealing, make games cheaper and piracy will go down, if they are cheap enough no one will bother pirating them.

The Free-to-play model exists cause some publishers realized that people just DON'T want to pay $50 for a game, with Free-to-play people will maybe never spend $50 on the game but even if they just spend $10, then it's still $10 they get instead of nothing.

By mcnabney on 3/27/2013 1:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that closer to 99.999% of people pirating Photoshop would never pay for it at that time. The Creative Suite costs as much as a decent computer. Even budding artists that might pirate it in school will eventually become paying customers when they have paying jobs in the industry.

By TakinYourPoints on 3/27/2013 6:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say that DRM stopped piracy, of course it didn't. I said that piracy is why those companies went to DRM in the first place.

The reasons you gave for free-to-play are correct. However, piracy is one more reason for it. The fact that a game is supported by microtransactions does an end-run around piracy and DRM. Let's look at two examples, Starcraft 2 and DOTA 2.

SC2 has no LAN mode and requires a connection to Battlenet's servers in order to use matchmaking. This is because it is a full price retail product. A pirated copy without the BNet restrictions gets everything while paying for nothing.

DOTA 2 is free-to-play and it has a LAN mode. The reason is that there is no need to protect the game from pirates, it is free to play and is paid for by cosmetics and other microtransactions. It does use Steam, but you can play LAN in "offline mode" just like you can with TF2.

So yeah, one of the benefits of F2P is that protecting the game/service from pirates is no longer an issue since everyone gets the game for free already, so restrictive measures like no LAN play are no longer needed.

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