Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 13th Sep 2010 20:57 UTC
Microsoft Who said a public outcry - even if it's just on the internet - never helped anyone? Yesterday, we reported on The New York Times' findings that Microsoft lawyers were taking part in raids on opposition groups in Russia. Today, Microsoft has announced a number of steps to fix the situation - the most significant of which is a unilateral software license extended to all NGOs in Russia and several other countries.
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You really don't understand the economics of software, or at least selling software in a productized model.

The average developer in the states makes about 75k/yr. MS tends to pay above average, you are probably talking 95-100k/yr. According to this blog,, there are about 23 main product teams for windows. An average software team is about 8-10 people (more then that gets fairly unwieldy). 10x23 = 230 devs at 100k is 23 000 000 big ones. MS also has a policy of hiring developers as testers, and at least tries to have 1.5 tester for each dev on a team. Testers are more like 80k, but we are still talking 345 people, which is 27 600 000. So just in developers and testers, we are talking 50.6m per year in manpower. Win7 was about 3.5 years in development, so we are talking 177.1m, as a rough estimate, in devs + testers.

Now thats a big number, but nothing compared to all the people we aren't counting. Managers (of which MS has _many_), designers, accountants, marketing folks, marketing campaigns, sales people, HR, IT people, and everything else you would expect from a big company. We are still just talking about people,we haven't even talked about the 8 billion per year they spend in R&D.

It does indeed cost a huge amount to develop large software infrastructure.

Not millions, but rather hundreds of billions:

$387B (387 billion dollars, or 2.1 million people-years of development) is one estimate for such an undertaking.

The thing is, the people are quite prepared to undertake that cost and effort for themselves on their own behalf, and hence enjoy for themselves the freedom and contol over their own computing that that gives them, rather than siphon all that money through Microsoft, and then still have to wear leagal threats and persecution from BSA/Microsoft for all that.

Edited 2010-09-14 05:38 UTC

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