Software piracy in India is on a decline and a recent survey by Microsoft reinforces the same. Findings of the survey (sample size : 38,000 across 20 countries and only 2,000 from India)
- 86 per cent of Indians are ready to pay more for genuine software.
- 79 per cent feel there is a need to protect themselves from unknowingly buying illegal software.
- More than 75 per cent of consumers in India said they believed genuine software was more secure, more stable and was easier to keep up-to-date.
While India sample size is too small, Microsoft claims that number of complaints related to piracy has increased in recent times.
In fact, Microsoft has taken legal actions in many cases (for instance, 75 resellers were caught selling pirated versions of MS software) and interestingly, survey participants noted the importance of government role in curbing piracy.
As one means of trying to tell the genuine article from a fake, Microsoft embeds about an inch of a special type of thread in each “certificate of authenticity” sticker found on boxes of software and computers. The investigators spotted dozens of spools of counterfeit thread — 81 miles worth — at the Chinese warehouse. [NYT]
In India, MS has resorted to conducting raids, though piracy has resulted in small businesses buying valid anti-virus software (that’s what a dealer told me referring to QuickHeal’s consistent sales).
What software companies need to realize?
Piracy is directly linked to countries economic power and that essentially means, people who can’t afford to buy such costly software resort to piracy – It’s time companies learn some lessons from Star Wars Book and ColdPlay experience, especially when they want to target emerging economies.
And guess what, the ones that lose to piracy is not just the software manufacturer, but largely the open source software (read: Piracy isn’t that bad) – after all, how many UI designers have learnt on a pirated copy of Adobe Photoshop vs. GIMP?
What’s your take on piracy issue? Will Microsoft (and other software companies) ever win this war? Or is Cloud, the best alternative?