Microsoft biased against emerging markets?

We recently wrote on Microsoft and Nokia applying for patents for various hardware-based digital rights and copyright management. Want more? Well, Microsoft has apparently applied for another patent, the Hardware-based software authenticator, and they seem to have a bias against emerging markets!

Upon authentication via a required multi-function hardware component, coupled to a computer system with one or more computer-readable media, having a software product embodied thereon, one implementation, described herein, conditionally blocks or grants access to the software functionality of that software product on that computer system.

Especially in emerging markets, software piracy poses a fundamental threat to software companies. While the cost of duplicating software is near zero, the cost of duplicating hardware provides a significant deterrent to piracy.

Note the emphasis on emerging markets. Well, it’s true that piracy is rampant in emerging markets, but it’s also true that software prices are not attuned to the capabilities of consumers in developing economies! Perhaps this is another reason to advocate use of open source.

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