EXPLAINED: MICROSOFT KNOWS MOST PC OWNERS USE PIRATED WINDOWS, BUT WHY IT STILL WON’T TAKE ANY ACTION


A 2018 study reported that at least 91 percent of PC users in India use a pirated copy of Windows. Even when one buys a new PC or a laptop with preinstalled Windows, 80-85 percent of the time, the user gets a pirated copy of the operating system. The exciting thing here is that Microsoft is well aware of this fact and the numbers behind it.


One might imagine that given how stringent and litigious most tech companies are about their products being used without a proper license, companies like Microsoft would be sending such users to cease and desist notices or downright have them prosecuted for piracy. Microsoft can instantly block the usage of your PC or laptop in such a way that it simply won’t boot into the desktop.

The reality, though, is much different. Microsoft doesn’t care now if a PC user is using a pirated copy of Windows. Why is it, though?


Microsoft is relying on the fact that you use a copy of pirated Windows, as long as it is, in fact, a Windows operating system that you go for, as opposed to any other alternative.

Well, that is as long as the PC in question and the user are using the operating system for their usage. In fact, in an interview, Bill Gates, when he was the CEO, president, and chief software architect at Microsoft, had once stated that as long as people are stealing software and using pirated operating systems, we want them to steal ours.


The idea behind this thought is that if Microsoft allows private individual users to use a pirated copy of Windows, chances are the people who are learning about computers, as well as children, will develop their computer skills around a Windows system.

Similarly, if they turn a blind eye toward schools and educational institutes using pirated windows, they will have a generation of computer users whose preferred operating system is Windows.

Now, when such an individual joins the workforce and has to use a computer, they will have to provide their employees with a machine with Windows on it, even though there are tons of free, open-source operating systems.

Microsoft takes the piracy of Windows very seriously if a business or corporation is committing it. They send out notices, even to non-profit organizations, when they find out that computers used in the business use pirated Windows. In such a case, the business or the company has to pay for a legitimate Windows license, which Microsoft is more than happy to customize, both in terms of services needed, as well fee for each machine where their operating system is being installed. This is where Microsoft makes the bulk of its money from software sales.


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