Ballmer says: Lower Piracy, Lower Prices

Microsoft’s CEO made a nice “campaign” comment on software piracy, perhaps to try and encourage people to legally purchase their software. Here is the comment itself:

“With less piracy, with more proper use, it certainly creates an opportunity for us and for other software companies to take a look at also reducing the cost, not just improving the benefits and the value of the software,”

Is it just me, or can anyone else detect the faint smell of horse dung that emanates from that quote?

Even if there was less piracy, prices wouldn’t be lower, the prices would continue to be whatever people find affordable. If people find 800$ affordable for Windows Vista, that is what they will pay for it.

And there’s another thing that’s not being said. If software was more affordable to begin with there would already be less piracy.

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Personally, I’ve found myself purchasing more software now than ever because some companies are smart enough to distribute it on the internet and charge a symbolic value for it. And even donating, to those which don’t charge anything at all. For me any price between 15$ and 25$ is affordable for software, considering I’m not getting a nice box or a printed CD with it. It saves the company time and money, and it saves the customer time and money.

Here’s a clue to Mr. Ballmer. Perhaps if an office application, which hasn’t received any notable updates for many years, cost less than their Operative System (which is, undoubtedly, much harder to develop), people would start listening seriously to your piracy-related comments.

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