In a move that points to a more Open-Source friendly path, Microsoft’s Jeff Raikes proclaimed: “If they’re going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else,” at a Morgan Stanley conference held recently in San Francisco.

As a method of explaining this comment, he explained that a reasonable amount of piracy can actually lead those people stealing the software to convert to for-pay versions in the future, either to get new features, or from a sense of, I guess, guilt.

“We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products,” Raikes said. “What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software.”

Personally I think it’s much easier to keep out of trouble by preferring and using Open Source alternatives, and we’re working hard on making those alternatives available to as many people as possible.  See my recent posting about Open Source Application Alternatives for more information.

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