Be genuine

DQW Bureau
04 Oct 2007
New Update


Recently speaking to the press, Craig Mundie, Chief Research and

Strategy Officer, Microsoft said that it might take a decade or two to tackle

piracy in the world. Something similar was echoed by Brian J Campbell who has

been spearheading the Genuine Software Initiative for MS in India. I met Brian a

few days ago, and despite all the bad press and angry channel partners, that the

man has faced, his zeal remains unfazed. I know the cynics amongst us might

snigger that after all Microsoft pays the man for exactly that. But for a moment

just put yourself in his shoes, to be the most hated man in the channel

community, just because he is trying to do the right thing and telling you not

to indulge in what is clearly an unlawful activity. Definitely does not seem to

be the description of a dream job to me.

Piracy today is a worldwide phenomenon. A survey conducted by

IDC for BSA in 2006 about the global trends in piracy had Armenia with the

highest piracy rate of 95 percent, China came in at number 17 with 82 percent

piracy rate. Though India did not make it to the top 20, the piracy rate in

India stood at 71 percent.

While the piracy rates in US stood at 22 percent, what is

probably surprising is that US is the market where Microsoft incurs most losses

since the installed PC base is huge.


In India the installed PC base at the moment stands at 22

million (IDC India Quarterly PC Tracker, Q1 2007). While the losses for software

vendors might not be that substantial as compared to US, it is definitely a

loss. There have been so many software vendors who have wound up their

operations in India just because their software, which they spent millions

developing, was sold for as low as Rs 100.

While we might all say that Microsoft is not being reasonable

having such price points for a price-sensitive Indian consumer, what we need to

realize are the larger ramifications that are coming our way. While India has

become a hub for outsourcing, how much software development is taking place on

our shores? Very little. Also in a country where gaming is increasingly becoming

a passion, not much development work is happening since any time a new game is

launched its pirated CDs are instantly available.

In the long run, that will be detrimental to the economic growth

of the country. With the rupee becoming stronger against the dollar, India is

now increasingly being seen as an expensive place to offshore. So if we want the

Indian economy to grow and our workforce to remain productively employed, the

industry needs to enhance development work in India, and that will only happen

once people start embracing original and genuine products. So in the interest of

the nation-Be genuine, buy genuine.

Shivangi Yadav