Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India

Sudha Nagaraj Bharadwaj, Journalist | 1/31/2013 | 32 comments

Sudha Nagaraj Bharadwaj
Microsoft might be counting on you to consider a heavily discounted version of Windows 8 to be superior to a free, pirated version of Windows 7. Whether or not people genuinely want an upgrade, the chance to convert has been a temptation among students and techies.

Days after the October 2012 launch of Windows 8 in India, there was excitement online as students and IT professionals chanced upon pirated versions of Windows 8 Pro. To this day, it is possible to download Windows 8 torrents from various sites, but Microsoft seems to be banking on the honest side of people to turn to a legitimate download. So much so that it turned a blind eye to users of pirated versions of Windows XP and Windows 7 who chose to upgrade to Windows 8 online.

At the time of the launch, Microsoft invited consumers running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 to download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of Rs. 1,999 (opposed to Rs 11,999) -- this offer will expire tomorrow, January 31, 2013. Users with Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 were invited to download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of Rs. 699 through an official Windows Upgrade Offer. The registration for the upgrade can be done up to the end of February. In contrast, an upgrade DVD is priced at Rs 3,449.

While the process that followed should have weeded out users of pirated Windows OS users, it did not do so initially. Many users were able to get Windows 8 Pro at a discounted price without having to prove they owned a licensed copy of Windows 7. There was no prompt asking for the key. The form that needs to be filled out only asks for the PC brand and model and date of purchase which many users have faked to successfully obtain a promo code.

Just when that glitch was set right, there surfaced reports of another loophole in the limited time offer for a free Windows 8 Media Center Pack product key. Users who were trying out the 180-day free trial of Windows 8 for enterprises through the key management service got a non-trial version of Windows 8 installed for free when they made a request for the free Media Center Pack.

Debate raged over whether the incidents were genuine mistakes or deliberate oversight given that 63 percent of the software in use in India is pirated. While Microsoft has refrained from commenting openly on the issue of piracy, late-comers who missed cashing in on the offers were advised by Microsoft to hold on for more promotions. Could Microsoft be trying to convert pirate users?

The move -- even if unwitting -- will help to target individual users of pirated Windows OS who may have veered towards open-source had the software leader cracked the whip. With the price of software being prohibitive for many, piracy is rampant in India. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) in partnership with software companies conducts raids mostly on enterprises, cracking down on use of pirated software for commercial purposes. According to the 2011 Global Software Piracy Study by BSA, 20 percent of respondents in India admitted to acquiring software illegally "all of the time," "most of the time," or "occasionally," while 23 percent said they do it "rarely." Meaning, more than six out of 10 software installed were unlicensed. Business decision makers in SMBs and enterprises have both admitted to buying pirated software as well as running single licensed software on multiple machines.

Consumers have long been demanding an "India price" (discount) to use licensed software. A softer pricing policy may be the only weapon that the software company can deploy to tap the market potential in the long term.

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tekedge   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/19/2013 8:51:12 PM
Windows 8 price can act as anti piracy tool in India
I think it will take a long time for people's mentality to change. If you can get something for free why pay even a discounted price. I bought the windows 8 at a discounted price ,and my colleague said she downloaded it free off a website! The argument was everybody does it why should we not! There are even upgrade patches available. It is going to be difficult to stop this trend!
Gigi   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/6/2013 10:46:55 PM
Gigi
Re: Re : Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India
"lets not forget the fact that users will not get regular updates if they are using pirated version of the software.'

Anand, that a wrong statement. I know some of my friends are using pirated versions of windows 7 home edition with a cracked key. They are using the software from 2009 onwards and regularly updating with patches from Microsoft.
Gigi   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/6/2013 10:42:26 PM
Gigi
MS business Strategy in India
Sudha, I think more than 60% of peoples are using pirated version of windows & office products, even Microsoft knows it very well. This is a great revenue loss and they tried all the way to hunt for pirated versions and nothing was success. That's the basic reason; they are offering such low cost upgradation. If they are able to convert atleast half of the pirated copies to licensed version, the mission was success and can collect a good amount from this.
Sudha N Bharadwaj   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/5/2013 9:06:50 PM
Re: Anti Piracy
@Anand, @Pubudu, Thanks. Pls do take a closer look at the offer. If you already run a Windows 7, you have time up to February 28 to register for the upgrade.
Pubudu   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/5/2013 12:31:59 AM
Re: Anti Piracy
@ Anand. Yes even I came to know about this promo because of this article

I think Windows should use mass media promotion for these kinds of offers which they can attract new customers rather than advertising only Windows Brand itself.
stotheco   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/3/2013 11:44:00 AM
Re: Re : Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India
I am hopeful as well that this mindset will change with time. Using pirated software is not only illegal, but it is also harmful to the security of your system. Developers intrpoduced crucial or important patches or bug fixes for the software from time to time, and you will not have access to these if you don't use licensed software.
stotheco   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/3/2013 11:42:54 AM
Re: Re : Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India
Anand, you make a good point. There's reason why it pays to get paid software. Aside from regular updates, patches, and fixes, you will also get access to technical support from the developer, in case you run into trouble or have any problems with the program. You don't get that from the pirates.
eethtworkz   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/3/2013 10:32:49 AM
Re: Re : Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India
Zaius,

You sure?

I am not so positive.

So many SMBs Globally today are on the verge of Shutting down because of Either Cash Flow problems or because the Big banks are not lending Cash to them...

In that scenario,Do you seriously feel they care much about Piracy Issues ;especially in Countries where these rules and regulations are not enforced (or Institutional Corruption is very High)Aggressively?

I don't think so.

 
Zaius   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/2/2013 7:52:38 PM
Re: Re : Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India
I agree, beating the free is tough. However, the mindset will change with time. If the companies of small or medium size think about the international practices, they should refrain from using a pirated copy. 
eethtworkz   Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India   2/2/2013 6:31:51 AM
Re: Re : Windows 8 Promo Price Can Act as Anti-Piracy Tool in India
Anand,

It all depends.

What if the said consumer is unaware about how much Financial crime is happening online today?

What if the said consumer does'nt do any Financial transactions online?

This is most definitely a cultural issue as much as a Basic Economics Issue(whether we like it or not).
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