[Linux-aus] Windows Is Free, The impact of pirated software on free software
pma-la at milleng.com.au
Thu Aug 16 09:18:02 UTC 2007
Maddog makes a great point (as he always does) about market inertia and
the adoption of Linux.
Odd, but I seem to remember commercial Unix (in it's various flavours)
also suffering from this inertia when it was introduced. In that case
it was IBM's MVS, DECs TOPS10, VMS and other proprietary OS's on
mainframes and minicomputers from a variety of manufacturers against
which it was pushing! Many of those manufacturers no longer exist and
their software is now unknown to more modern computer users.
Borrowing a line from my French ancestors: Plus ça change, plus c'est la
Jon 'maddog' Hall wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-08-16 at 10:38 +0930, Andrew Pam wrote:
>> "A recent column on Zdnet, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, discussed the
>> reasons why people won't change from a retail operating system to a free
>> one. The implication is that Linux can't even give away their software.
>> That sounds pretty dire. Windows retails for around 200 US dollars, give
>> or take depending on which version and where you buy. If the above
>> statement by Mr Kingsley-Hughes was true, it means that Linux is so bad
>> that people would gladly pay 200 dollars to avoid it. Do users really
>> think Linux is that lame?"
>> Share and enjoy,
> According to the BSA (and I am not talking about the Boy Scouts of
> America), the piracy rate of commercial software is lowest in the
> countries that can (for the most part) afford to pay for it, and highest
> in the countries that can not afford to pay for it. No surprise here.
> Their report shows that 29% of all the commercial software in Australia
> is pirated (down from 31% a few years ago), whereas in countries like
> Vietnam and China (where the average person makes 2-3 USD per day) the
> piracy rate is 88-82% (down from 92% a few years ago). The United
> States has a 21% piracy rate. I will note that these numbers are
> actually lower than I have seen before.
> Yes, in most of the "emerging countries", the Microsoft software *IS*,
> in effect, gratis. And I have had Microsoft Product Managers tell me
> that they do "turn their backs" on software piracy in certain cases,
> giving bug fixes and training on software they know is pirated, just so
> the people will not use Free Software instead.
> And there is the corruption, the fact that Microsoft can pay
> governments, institutions and even people to use their software ,
> advertise their software, and insist on their software rather than use
> Free Software. Where do they get the money to do this? From the people
> who DO pay for the software.
> So why doesn't Free Software just expand like crazy? Well, the article
> hit on a couple of issues that still do exist. But the real reason at
> this point is just "inertia". Market demand for Microsoft, the fact
> that your brother/uncle/sister/mother uses Microsoft, most devices can
> run some version of Microsoft, most applications run on Microsoft, and
> those applications are pirated also, etc. etc.
> But what Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is missing in his article is that Linux
> *IS* winning. Just because it has not taken over every desktop in the
> past five years does not mean it is not making good progress. And just
> like you push against a large object in the vacuum of space and you do
> not see it moving at first, eventually it starts to move, then gather
> speed, then heaven help you if you get caught between it and some really
> unmovable object....
> Linux also does not need to have 100% or even 50% of the desktop market
> to succeed either. I will have considered Linux successful after only
> 20% of the desktop market, because that is when all the controller
> vendors will support it and the desktop application vendors will all
> support it. Then rapidly Linux will increase to 30, 49 and 50% of the
> desktop market, or more.
> Its inertia folks. We have seen it before, and we will see it again.
> But soon it will be on our side....and that is the scary part for
> Microsoft, because deep in their little beady brains, they know it.
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