From time to time people ask me about piracy and security.
Let’s start with piracy first. If you look at the 2007 Global Piracy Study by BSA, the numbers are frightening. Looking at EMEA, it starts with Moldova on 94% pirated software to Denmark with 25% (which is still every fourth copy!) – the rest is somewhere in between! This is pretty significant and I think it is clear that we are flighting against people stealing our property.
If it come to the relation between security and privacy, I would love to have any figures. All the figures about malware we have are mainly from the Malicious Software Removal Tool (which is mainly delivered through Automatic Update) and somebody who is deliberately using a pirated copy would most probably not switch on AU (even though we do not look at the machines). This makes it pretty bad – probably – as the machines will not be patched. To make the point clear: We are delivering critical security updates even to people who have stolen our software in order to protect the ecosystem from their machines!
Now, we got some feedback with regards to the “Reduced Functionality Mode” in Vista. This basically means that if your copy of Windows Vista as seen as pirated it will go back to mode where you can mainly just copy your data. There are two announcement we made today with regards to Windows Genuine Advantage:
- Within SP1 we will fix two areas that have been exploited in Vista
- We will change the user experience on how you get notified if you are using a pirated copy. We will not use the Reduced Functionality Mode anymore but use the same user experience we already used in Windows XP with regular Pop-Ups
The reason why we are doing this is pretty simple: We got good and constructive feedback from our customers, that they support our efforts with regards to counterfeit software but that they have concerns with regards to RFM.
As I often say: Our products are driven by our customers