Home > In the News > Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows Eugenia Loli 2004-09-30 In the News 99 Comments PCs running Linux are growing in popularity in part because they can be loaded with a pirated copy of Windows, according to a study from analyst Gartner. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 99 Comments 2004-09-30 1:05 am even the title sounds like FUD. 2004-09-30 1:08 am That they also sell pcs without an operatins system. Think of all the pirating !!!!eleven1!! What a bunch of FUD. 2004-09-30 1:09 am why use windows when you have linux, or some other alternative? Porting games, possibly. But, who’d want to run a pirate copy of windows? I don’t even want to run the real version of windows, what use have we with pirate copies of windows? Oh, well, Microsoft doesn’t believe they should reveal their full source for changes. Mainly because, there’d be too many changes. 2004-09-30 1:10 am omfg. i didn’t think the spin could get any worse. the story is actually relatively sound. it’s the title and the general tone of the story that puts me off. 2004-09-30 1:16 am Sadly, this is very much true. I see dozens of people buying Linux machines from WalMart, taking them home and then deleting Linux and getting a teenager down the road to install a nice copy of XP for them. In my friends group, I’d say that about 3/20 computers are licensed. The rest are pirated. 2004-09-30 1:16 am You know, this guy must be nuts but what he might be willing to say is a some sort of hidden truth.. Linux PC cost “less” $$$ than Windows ones, its true, but there are a lot of people who go to WalMart and buy this low-cost PCs just to get a discount on the licence.. in a matter of minutes they got installed a pirate-XP on this system and start surfing the web. So what he said is really FUD.. perhaps he could have saying _another_ thing with _another_ words. Regards 2004-09-30 1:19 am They aren’t even basing it on fact… just speculation on what’s possible. Call that a study? This artlicle is like one you would read from outrageous tabloids. Makes one question the motives of the publisher, if not the worth of the editor that allowed this to be published. All that said, it CAN possibly happen; like it would be possible for a comet the size of Texas to go undetected, hit the earth, obliterate half of all life on the planet in an instant, and bring about a 10,000 year ice age. 2004-09-30 1:20 am It’s probably not a FUD but its actually true. But then, because of piracy, Windows got to where it is now. In some countries, you can actually buy laptops without any operating systems. 2004-09-30 1:25 am Well, that’s exactly right… Windows has become the Industry Standard and 800lb Gorilla because Microsoft has NEVER made it really difficult for people to pirate Windows. So, while it’s arguable that Microsoft loses money to piracy… It’s the piracy that has Windows BE the Standard that it is. Microsoft should forget about Piracy, lower the retail price of Windows XP Home to about $69.00 and FORGET Activation for the home version, and sell tons of it. Sell additional licenses without media for $25.00 each, and make support optional and for pay (for the additional licenses), and they’ll rake in more money.. Microsoft forgets that discounting makes more units sell. And $200 is NOT a discounted price. It’s as much as a computer costs. And not everyone wants a preconfigured, pre-packaged box from Dell or Gateway. Some of us *LOVE* to roll our own for the fun of it. And the amount of control it gives us over the box, AND the inexpensiveness of it.. 2004-09-30 1:27 am FUD? I don’t think so… here in Argentina it’s a very common practice. 2004-09-30 1:29 am Bxb, A comet 790 miles long and 660 miles wide moving at 60 kilometers per second would more than likely vaporize most of Earth. What little would remain would probably be disperesed in a thin ring around our local star. Maybe we should invest more resources in finding and tracking NEOs. Cheers, Jordan 2004-09-30 1:30 am “It is likely that Microsoft would prefer the initial OS on a new PC to be a Windows variant rather than Linux, even if piracy were to continue,” the report stated. “This would reduce the amount of interest that Linux is generating because of its increasing presence on new PCs.” Well duh? I couldn’t ever in my life have figured that one out. But then again, the big business works in mysterious ways. Seriously though. How did they get those numbers? Really. Did they ask people when they bought the computers? “Waaait a minute. Will you be installing a pirated copy of Windows on this computer?” Or did they ask they guys on the street how many copies of windows they have sold to people with linux machines? It’s just pure speculation and it’s most likely that MS is spreading it. It sounds like their usual tactics. I remember when they said that it wasn’t fair to sell linux boxes in asia. /me giggles and walks away 2004-09-30 1:31 am What a foolish heading for a story! 2004-09-30 1:38 am That’s rather about restriction of our freedom to buy empty PC, which was pressed through by MS lobbists. In our country you cannot buy OS-less PC…so those rare companies who provide PC with linux providing a bit of frsh air for us. Actually, i bought IBM laptop with XP PRO preinstalled, couldn’t buy here free or or with Linux. Imagine – i removed that MS product, and installed Libux and BeOS…how can i return my money for non-used license? 2004-09-30 1:46 am How is this any different than selling PC’s with no OS installed so people can go home and install their pirated version of XP? This has nothing to do with Linux. 2004-09-30 1:47 am It sounds like a very stupid study. 2004-09-30 1:48 am PCs running DOS are growing in popularity in part because they can be loaded with a pirated copy of Windows, according to a study from analyst Gartner. The consulting firm issued a report on Wednesday stating that about 40 percent of DOS PCs will be modified to run an illegal copy of Windows, a bait-and-switch maneuver that lowers the cost of obtaining a Windows PC. In emerging markets, where desktop DOS enjoys wider popularity, the trend is even starker. Around 80 percent of the time, DOS will be removed for a pirated copy of Windows. Pirated copies sell for around $1 in the streets of Shanghai and other cities in Asia and Eastern Europe, but can also be bought in stores selling brand name PCs. As a result, the number of desktop DOS PCs that ship will exceed the actual percentage of DOS machines that get installed in the real world. Desktop DOS will account for about 5 percent of desktops shipped in 2004, according to Gartner, with 10.5 percent of the desktops in Asia shipping with DOS this year. However, the installed base of DOS will come to only 1.3 percent. In 2008, DOS will account for 7.5 percent of PCs shipped, but only 2.6 percent of the installed base, about the same that Apple’s installed base will be then. A comparable lack of drivers, training costs and migration headaches will also retard desktop DOS growth. “DOS on the desktop may be generating a lot of publicity, but there are very few large-scale dedicated DOS deployments,” the firm stated. “Governments in several European countries have announced plans to migrate to DOS, but most of these projects are in the evaluation phase.” Price, of course, is a huge motivator in piracy. All of the components inside PCs have dropped in price in the past several years, except Windows. Windows accounted for around 5 percent to 6 percent of the cost of building a “professional”-level PC in 1996. Now, the operating system accounts for 12 percent to 15 percent of the cost. Still, the growing acceptance of DOS has prompted Microsoft to hatch plans for releasing an inexpensive version of Windows, called Windows XP Starter Edition in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia and India. “It is likely that Microsoft would prefer the initial OS on a new PC to be a Windows variant rather than DOS, even if piracy were to continue,” the report stated. “This would reduce the amount of interest that DOS is generating because of its increasing presence on new PCs.” Gartner is a tough audience these days. In August, Gartner wrote a report criticizing Windows XP Starter Edition, claiming that it lacked some features and would “likely increase software piracy.” 2004-09-30 1:49 am “Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows” Sure, all them ftp sites that those script kiddies use to Pirate Windows on ftp and IRC servers run linux. Another fact. 2004-09-30 1:51 am Laptops aside, you can buy parts to build your own machine in your country right? But I agree that it would be nice if pre-built boxes without windows were more widely available. Especially since building your own machine isn’t much cheaper these days (in some cases even more expensive). What I don’t get is the guys who wants a refund for the windows license they got with the computer, just because they aren’t using it. I mean, they most likely knew that they bought the license along with the computer. It’s just silly. But I guess they did it to provoke rather than getting their money back. Personally, I won’t buy a computer that comes with windows installed. It’s not that I care much about the extra money, but I just don’t want to support microsoft. Laptops are a problem though, but I guess I can either buy a used one or a powerbook. 2004-09-30 1:52 am You can actually buy a computer with no license – I recently bought a laptop from pcclub.com, and they had options for windoze, linux (redhat) or none. I’m a mandrake guy, so I opted for none. As for the article, I didn’t see how they got their ‘numbers’, then they even extrapolated on those ‘numbers’ to get more ‘numbers’. Hard to call that factual. 2004-09-30 2:00 am nuff said 2004-09-30 2:09 am The story has absolutely nothing to do with the article. It’s not Linux doing the pirating or even involved in any way except for being deleted and replaced with a pirated copy of Windows. I can TOTALLY understand why the actual contents of the story are happening though. It’s the same reason I build my own computers. Why pay the “Microsoft tax” when you don’t have to? That has nothing to do with legal issues at all. I’ve “retired” LOTS of computer that once ran Windows and now run Linux. I don’t NEED another license for Windows. Sheesh. It makes me glad I have OSNews to read, where the entire audience gets a good laugh out of articles like this instead of gasping in horror about how Microsoft is getting screwed. 2004-09-30 2:10 am There’s probably some truth to the article, I have no doubt about that. But it’s also true that it’s very difficult to find a Laptop that doesn’t come with Windows XP pre-installed on it … where the end user will take it out of the box, toss their legal copy of Windows XP in the trash and then proceed to install some other Operating System such as Linux or FreeBSD. 2004-09-30 2:10 am I agree, Jay. Blaming Linux for this is stupid. The fact is, the people who pirate software are corrupt and would do it no matter what OS is on the machine. But “Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows” gets Gartner more attention. 2004-09-30 2:12 am Warning, Extreem sarcasm below: This just in, PC’s are a vehicle for pirating Windows. So far only Intel Engineers have been arrested in this conspiracy, but the feds are waiting outside AMD’s headquarters as we speak to kill the infidels who decided to create an alternative CPU for windows piracy. 2004-09-30 2:18 am *slaps knees while laughing* yes, beware of the hordes of pirates and crackers! 2004-09-30 2:27 am This one is actually quite funny. People who want to use Windows, particularly thoes who use pirated software, don’t know what Linux is. And when they do, they stay away from it, even if it’s just a matter of installing Windows over it. This article (more so title) is total BS. Nice try on the marketing scheme, though, MS. 2004-09-30 2:56 am It seems these articles get their inspiration from other articles of the same ilk and repeat the same assertions. “Comparative lack of drivers” technically may be a valid point but in practice it’s almost a non-issue. My latest installation of Linux (SuSE 9.1) identified everything on my new PC including the internal WinModem. It was an easier installation than XP, because the distribution was newer. The idea that Linux is contributing to Windows piracy is just FUD. The same could apply to os-free PCs, second-hand, government surplus, Windows 95, 98, 3.1 <insert anything here.! 2004-09-30 2:59 am Let’s face it, XP is a pretty nice desktop OS, especially now with SP2. Given the choice between XP “for free” (pirated) or Linux, it makes sense that a whole lot of people choose XP. And I don’t even think Microsoft is particularly worried about home users installing bootleg copies of Windows. After all, this sustains Microsoft’s mind-share which in part drives software sales to businesses and through large resellers like Compaq and Dell. Now I realize they have all that funky activation stuff built into XP. I think this is probably to prevent large-scale piracy (OEMs installing illegal copies of Windows on every machine they sell) rather than end-user piracy. 2004-09-30 3:00 am I can say with confidence that more than 80% of the PCs with Linux in SouthAmerica get Windows installed, and bet that this is what’s happening in the rest of the world. People at Linux Distros should investigate more on why is that people don’t get used to their distributions. 2004-09-30 3:09 am So basically they just made up a bunch of numbers and then reported it as fact? “Hi I’m calling from xxx company did your pirate your OS?” Click “Hello…Hello?” Madeup crap since there would be no way to accurately judge this. btw considering how few pcs actually come with Linux installed the people here saying that “everyone” they know who “buys Linux PC’s but then puts on XP” is a stretch to say the least. Do these people from South America and the East know a lot of people who pirate windows? Probably. Did they actually all buy Linux machines? Doubtful. If indeed 80% of the people they knew were actually buying Linux boxes then desktop Linux would make up like half of the market outside the US which it doesn’t come close to doing. 2004-09-30 3:30 am I have bought Lindows machines from Wal-Mart.com and installe Windows on it. Windows 2000 and XP run pretty decent on them. 2004-09-30 3:36 am A lot of the people posting here are missing the point. The fact is that most of the large sellers will not allow you do buy a PC without a pre-installed OS (largely because of M$’s “Naked PC” propaganda). Some will, bust most won’t. Worse still, even if you choose to remove the Windows component, you still pay! Therefore, buying a PC with Linux vindicates the seller and the buyer and removes this cost. I have seen this practice in action in Vietnam and it is definitely a way for hardware vendors to appear to be doing the right thing, but in fact supply you with an under the counter copy of XP with your “Linux” box. 2004-09-30 3:45 am All these negative comments about the article makes me laugh. People accept the fact that joe average user prefer Windows over Linux in droves. There is nothing wrong with that. I happen to prefer the BSD’s and Linux, nothing wrong with that. Joe average user that is lucky enough to get someone to install a pirated copy of Windows for him (Joe average user can’t even do this most times) on a cheap PC will do that. 2004-09-30 3:48 am Linux has nothing to do with Microsoft’s piracy problems. There have been pirated copies of DOS and Windows around in every country many years before anyone even dreamed of shipping a PC/Laptop pre-installed with linux. Microsoft are simply missing the days when they had the power to charge for every x86 computer manufactured whether or not it was shipped with an OS. I don’t agree with the coping or sharing of illegal software but I do believe Microsoft’s problems partly stems from their overcharging for an OS that basically just does basic email/browsing (insecurely) has some simple apps/games and can emits sounds. Anyway … don’t know I bother to respond to such a ridiculous article???? Cheers rob 2004-09-30 3:49 am Quote: “People at Linux Distros should investigate more on why is that people don’t get used to their distributions. ” Why should they? The reason is that Linux loaded PCs are usually very low end hardware wise, hence being so cheap to obtain. The average PC user does not have the know how to put together a PC, so they buy on the cheap. They don’t want to go out and spend *lots* of Money on a Dell, Compaq etc, which are usually crap anyways. And they’re forced to pay for a license of Windows XP etc then. Much easier to buy the Linux loaded PC, wipe it and download a pirated version of XP and use that. Microsoft knows this happens. The easy way to avoid this would be to lock the bios so that it cannot be made to boot from a non linux distro, but I don’t really think that that would be either possible or legal. But then again, laptop manufacturers do the very same thing…and get away with it… Why do so many people pirate Windows XP? Well it’s partly human nature. Why pay for something if you can get it for free? The average person cares jack about copyright, patents or piracy. They also have the attitude of ‘I won’t get caught’. The best thing would be for Microsoft to stop pirated copies from being able to update. This would force the customer to buy the real thing, or get sick of the overpriced product and look seriously at alternatives. Windows XP is ridiculously priced. And a poor product. I wouldn’t certainly pay for such a crap product, let alone the price that Microsoft wants… Dave W Pastern 2004-09-30 4:09 am Microsoft should forget about Piracy, lower the retail price of Windows XP Home to about $69.00 and FORGET Activation for the home version, and sell tons of it. A better way would be to sell a “Microsoft Home” package, Microsoft Office Professional + Windows XP Professional, no activation,the only two catches, however, is that it can only be installed in a home environment and you have to pay for technical support (US$100 per incident), sell it for US$100, and you’d make a killing. 2004-09-30 4:10 am How is this even possible. You should be able to load pirated Windows no problem no matter the OS?!? If anything this is a comment on Microsoft’s poor security and the lack of ethics of their user base. 2004-09-30 4:14 am Ok the article provides no proof backing up these bizare claims. The term “pirated windows” implies that all restrictions are gone so why shouldn’t Linux even be needed to install it? Secondly this is the most absurd thing I’ve heard since the claim that John Kerry jumped on his own grenades in Vietnam. I think this takes the cake from Smoking Crack Organization (SCO). 2004-09-30 4:14 am All this people who claim to speak on behalf of people in South America are a bunch of liars. Most of the PCs sold in Brazil and Argentina are whitebox, no-name PCs created by small companies, where the seller will not put any OS if you do not want that. There is no obligation to ship an OS with those PCs, that’s an American “invention”. Therefore, the people getting Linux PCs are doing so because they want to. Linux amounts for close to 35-45% of PCs in Brazil, depending on who you ask. Even Gartner’s own surveys confirm this. Why isn’t the methodology for the conclusions of Gartner’s study disclosed? Because there isn’t any. This is anotheer commissioned study to continue to make headlines, spread FUD and associate the word Linux with piracy. It makes me sick to see how far some of the journalists will go to spread lies. Nothing but propangadists selling themselves to the highest bidder. 2004-09-30 4:15 am “People at Linux Distros should investigate more on why is that people don’t get used to their distributions. ” Crappy software selection. Sorry, until Jane and Joe Average can go into the local software store and purchase Adobe Photo Elements, MYOB, Quicken or some other application they need, those el-cheapo computers will continued to be changed over to Windows XP. Who is to blame for the lack of software? the distributors, nothing is stopping Red Hat from approaching Adobe, licensing the source code, porting it to Linux and selling it. Loki did it, admitingly they failed because of the crap nature of Linux gaming at the time, but in regards to applications, that is the main thing holding Linux back, the lack of off the shelf applications that end users demand and expect to be able to run on Linux. As for the cost of porting from Windows to Linux, grab a copy Mainsoft, as so long as the application isn’t doing some weird win32 voodoo, porting should be pretty painless. 2004-09-30 4:18 am The real issue here is not pricing advantage for Linux but the piracy that exists in the Windows camp. The Linux community should not be held accountable for the problems that Redmond has failed to address in their user base for years. 2004-09-30 4:31 am All these negative comments about the article makes me laugh. People accept the fact that joe average user prefer Windows over Linux in droves. That’s not the point. I think we all know that Windows is what most people use. However, this article wants to give the impression that linux is the cause of Windows piracy. That’s what bothering most of us. 2004-09-30 4:37 am Funny – but the reverse is also true, ive thrown out about a dozen Windows 2003 Server licenses, after purchasing servers for clients that dident want a whitebox but hardware from established vendors. Now, what did i put on those servers instead? FreeBSD and Linux – what got counted? Windows. Same goes for the desktop, when ever i purchase laptops, off goes my 2 cpu windows XP copy (ibm thinkpads, ships with 2 machine licenses), and on goes my Linux distro of choice. My friends and family are starting to run linux too, because a properly setup Linux environment is more userfriendly in their opinion and mine, after i took the time to set it up, and tweak it for their needs, and give them a quick intro. They are a select audience, i’ll give you that, because they never play games other than the odd solitarie or Mah Jong, but surfs the web, emails and IM, watches movies or television. For those people, windows is just not needed, the maturity of gnome and KDE is enough – and they dont have to fear virusses going rampage on their systems or getting infected with active-x malware. They love it, but ofcourse, i doubt they would be able to install it themselves, but thats not really the endusers job in my opinion. 2004-09-30 4:48 am ted criminals doing what criminals do: lie, cheat and steal.There is NO WAY an average user knows where to get a pirated copy of windows xp and then bypass the activation. NO WAY. It takes some detailed knowledge of the OS to even follow the crack directions. Old versions of windows? Most people don’t even have an installable copy. The dell’s and HP’s all come with crippled pre-installed versions that require that specific hardware. And who’s really dying to install win98 anyway? Nobody. And finally, most people just surf the net and write some letters, and any linux distro can do that easily so why bother swapping the OS. Microsoft just pays these idiot shills to blather their latest propoganga. Say it enough times and it becomes true? They want to make this lie a perceived truth so they can go back to charging the microsoft tax on every PC sold. Convicted criminals doing what criminals do: lie, cheat and steal. 2004-09-30 4:53 am this seems to follow in the recent FUD reports. Earlier this week I remember see an article on eWeek about companies that switched from Linux then back to Windows. My best guess is this is either an attemp to downplay the Windows -> Linux conversion or to incite that some how Linux just isn’t worth it compared to Windows. 2004-09-30 5:05 am DUH!!! The only way to stop Windows piracy is to make sure every PC built is preloaded with Windows and that PC self-destructs when a newer version is released. 2004-09-30 5:07 am I wished I could work for Gartner – doing nothing, except for maybe doing the less than obvious every now and then, and getting an ass-load of money for it. Wow, so I can load Windows on an x86 machine – gotta tell my mom about that one! I got news for you, Gartner, and you may as well make a new article in its own right out of it: “Desktop Windows is a Vehicle for pirating Windows”, yes, that’s a fact! In ye olden times, I was running a pirated copy of W98SE on my W98 1st ed. system because I felt like I was entitled for this “bug fix release” for free. And then I replaced that one with W2K because MS owes me severeal thousand dollars for all the men hours I spend fixing their unfixable crap over the last years and I believe it is easier for the two of us to settle my claim this way. 2004-09-30 5:13 am Who is to blame for the lack of software? the distributors, nothing is stopping Red Hat from approaching Adobe, licensing the source code, porting it to Linux and selling it. That’s exactly what Novell is trying to do. Well, perhaps not photoshop but at least software Hopefully other companies with deep pockets will follow that example. 2004-09-30 5:14 am It makes no sense to me. Why not just use your old computer and spend the $99 dollars for a copy of Windows 2000 or XP ?? Or pay the $68 dollars extra to get a computer with a legal copy of windows ? If you are spending $600 bucks for a computer to run windows then saving up $68 dollars extra is not a big deal. This article is pure FUD and anyone who backs it up is basiclly trolling. Besides you don’t need to purchase a new computer to run a pirated copy of windows. 2004-09-30 5:21 am $68 is a big deal in several countries. That’s why linux machines are so popular there in the first place. 2004-09-30 5:24 am …and I did it the other way around. Got my IBM Thinkpad preloaded with Windows and now I run Linux on it. 2004-09-30 5:28 am Haha! (LOL)…. but wait a sec, wasn’t that the premise for the movie where NASA sends a dysfunctional oil drilling team to stick a nuke up its, er, thing, and blow the heck out of it? You mean that was a faulty premise? OMG! 2004-09-30 5:34 am What a stupid article, like there is any connection to Linux and pirated copies of Windows. What you can’t obtain a computer without some sort of OS included? MORONIC. 2004-09-30 5:53 am There are more custom built PCs than prebuilt PCs with linux. If their concern is piracy their focus should have been on those. But this article is just trying to smear more FUD on Linux but associating a non-linux problem to it. Is it possible for people to buy Windows XP Home and load a pirated XP Professional on it, what about Win2K, Win98 etc. What has this problem got to do with Linux at all. 2004-09-30 7:03 am Microsoft sees piracy in two ways these days. On one hand they smile on it. The first hit is always free, after all. But now, they face a serious challenger on the very same hardware platform they helped make dominant through the same monopolistic practices. Linux can be installed onto those computers, and often more easily than Microsoft’s own flagship operating system. So every copy of Windows pirated means the Windows monopoly is a little more entrenched, but at the same time, if a lot of those computers were sold with some form of Linux installed, that generates statistics in favor of Microsoft. These same kinds of statistics, taken for more than they’re worth and spun properly have long fueled Microsoft’s monopoly by making it look like Windows is even more dominant a player than it actually is, so Microsoft knows how they could fuel increased interest in Linux. Popular opinion swaying in favor of Linux would drive migrations to it more than its technical merits ever have. 2004-09-30 7:12 am Title: “Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows” This is pure suggestive! “The consulting firm issued a report on Wednesday stating that about 40 percent of Linux PCs will be modified to run an illegal copy of Windows, a bait-and-switch maneuver that lowers the cost of obtaining a Windows PC.” What has that to do with linux? They might buy as easily a PC with no installed OS, and install a pirated windows version, maybe they would make a dual-boot system. “A comparable lack of drivers, training costs and migration headaches will also retard desktop Linux growth.” What is the target group? Whom are we talking about? What training costs are there for a desktop linux system? As a home user you would,’t make any cost’s , most Linux distributions (get it ?) are packed with documents, howto’s ,and they have most of the time a very active community. For migrating a server environment there would be made most likely some “training costs” if the staff at hand has no blue of Linux, but yet again out of this reason a migration might not be feasonable. 2004-09-30 7:22 am gartner seems to come back to repeat his point over and over again. we all know it’s true. for a very _very_ few users. most users who buy a machine with linux installed had the possibility of buying a machine without as as well as to put it together by parts. what I think? gartner either likes to make ads for microsoft, of had a very very bad experience with some linux distribution and decides blame the rest of us is some weird way.. what I’d really want is for osnews to not post this kind of _repeating_ articles. they give nothing new and bash on people with the ethic to be share there wealth with their neighbours. 2004-09-30 7:26 am nice comments people. and of course your right, to buy a new machine with linux pre-installed is probably more expensive then buying one with windows. (and both ways you can still pirate yourself another version of windows) is there any way for us to tell osnew we don’t want this kind of bashing? (and especially not when it’s already been posted here before..) 2004-09-30 7:43 am All that said, it CAN possibly happen; like it would be possible for a comet the size of Texas to go undetected, hit the earth, obliterate half of all life on the planet in an instant, and bring about a 10,000 year ice age. No, it’s more like: “It CAN possibly happen, like it would be possible for the pope to be catholic”. It’s common knowledge that el cheapo Walmart Linux PCs get loaded with Windows. People do it all the time. People that run Linux build their own systems, anyway. Sorry to break your nice dream, but Ant Tillie doesn’t buy Linux preloaded PCs just yet. If she *does* run Linux (very unlikely) its probably some nephew that set it up for her. 2004-09-30 7:55 am Ok – let me ask the opposite question: How many of you folks out there had to buy hir/her/its machine pre-installed with Windows and use it for Linux? Specially in the Laptop-market it is nearly impossible to buy a machine without it. I have 4 OEM Windows’ at home that I never use (1×95,1xME,2xXP) … still statistic count me as a “Windows User” – OMG! 2004-09-30 8:24 am What’s the relevancy of Linux in this story? People go, buy computers, go home and install pirated Windows. What was on the harddrive at the moment they bought it is thus irrelevant. 2004-09-30 8:32 am “Most of the PCs sold in Brazil and Argentina are whitebox, no-name PCs created by small companies, where the seller will not put any OS if you do not want that. There is no obligation to ship an OS with those PCs, that’s an American “invention”.” True, most, but not all. You can get a Linux Distro installed in Notebooks and PCs in Wallmart (Argentina) for example. Also in big stores like Garbarino (Argentina). They have to install something, if they install Windows the price grows too high, so the install a Lin Distro. People who buy in this stores are mostly Joe users and install a pirated copy of Windows later. 2004-09-30 8:42 am “but Ant Tillie doesn’t buy Linux preloaded PCs just yet” Exactly. And if you are trying to tell me that Aunt Tillie is formatting the drive of her Wal*Mart PC in order to install a warez-XP on it you must be crazed out. Does she even know where is top + bottom of a PC?! 2004-09-30 9:05 am I don’t know, sometimes americans tend to think the world works just like the USA. It does not. In italy most of the people buy pcs in Stores where they either get a “branded” pc with windows preloaded or a cheap/custom box with a blank hard disk. Some are *really* clueless (normally uncles and grandpas buying presents for their nieces) and actually buy windows boxed cds or ask the store to preload the pc (if it is not a branded one). But 90% know at least one relative that has the ability to install windows (that is, drop the cd, next, next, next), and has a copy of the Site Licensed XP Pros with NO activation. Maybe in the usa it’s different, but get over it: in other places people don’t even KNOW that it exists such a thing as “original software”. They find it entirely NORMAL to load another person’s windows cd. And guess what, the few that buy windows licenses buy the “Student Version” ’cause it’s cheaper AND it’s what the stores push. Even if they have no student in the family. Who’s gonna check? 2004-09-30 9:09 am What’s to stop someone buying a cheap PC from one place, and a cheap IDE hard drive from another, wiping the first hard disk and loading up a pirated copy? There are so many ways to pirate – but what’s the point? You can buy legitimate copies of Linux very cheaply. Why on earth would anyone buy a Legal Linux machine and then wipe it to put on a pirated copy of an inferior O/S – are they mad or what? 2004-09-30 9:28 am Aah yes the dreaded words statistics. Yep here too impossible to buy, beg or steal a PC or laptop without some version of windows being on it. So if you have a PC and a laptop, you get counted twice. Hmmm…… 2004-09-30 9:33 am This is off topic… Sorry guys, if I don’t ask it here, where else would I? What does FUD stand for, what are you all referring to? Also, the same for AFAIK, what does it stand for? I know these are geeky words so this would be appropriate place to ask. Eugenia, if you can answer this, please do so, I will appreciate it and you can freely mod this comment down and have you reply in the moderated secrion. English is my second language. Thanks in advance. 2004-09-30 9:34 am i want to work for gartner. they get paid handsomely to com eup with such beautiful gems as this. 2004-09-30 9:48 am Do yourself a favour and use google. Anyway, FUD is “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”. It is a business practice created by IBM in the 80s and perfected my Microsoft in the 90s consisting of spreading false informations to scare customers that are THINKING of abandoning you. 2004-09-30 9:49 am Some people are in the middle, they want linux but can’t go to linux because of other apps that don’t exists in linux. And they don’t want to dualboot, (I hate dual booting) Its much cleaner with VMWARE and Windows XP/200 running photoshop/MSOFFICE.. Vmware and a good computer provides a very functional vm-win2k/xp. THIS doesn’t mean every one going to linux is because he can use windows inside linux.. NO it just means some people do! And I know a couple of people that did exactly this. Replace windows to linux with vmware! And these people didn’t use linux before.. 2004-09-30 9:56 am AFAIK = As Far As I Know FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Usual tactic of most big companies like Microsoft or IBM: Spread fear, uncertainty and doubt then tell everybody that going with the big guy would be safe. Repeat lies or even better, half-truths through paid studies until some fear, uncertainty and doubt are lingering in most minds. 2004-09-30 10:06 am Thank you 2004-09-30 11:07 am IMHO the sole purpose of this article was to put the words ‘Linux’ and ‘piracy’/’pirates’ in the same sentence over and over again to imply to casual readers that Linux is a tool for pirates. The specific statement is blatantly obvious: Pirates want to spend the minimum possible on their hardware/software. Because Windows is more expensive than Linux where there is a choice they will opt for Linux. If the hardware can be bought cheaper (e.g. without a pre-loaded OS, or with any other alternative) they will likely choose this over Linux – it has nothing to do with the product, everything to do with cost. In the article this was heavily spun to suggest that Linux is somehow preferred by the pirates. An interesting question that they didn’t address: how many people use Windows because it allows them to use other pirated software? I would suggest that most pirates choose the Windows OS because it allows them to use pirated applications (and games), many not written or distributed by Microsoft. Until recently piracy wasn’t too much of a problem for Microsoft, sure it was annoying that people were copying their office suite and other applications, but because every PC was sold pre-loaded with Windows they had guaranteed income for every PC sold, and it helped build a monopoly. Now there is an alternative and people are no longer forced to buy Windows with a new PC. Piracy is now a major threat to Microsoft’s income. I’m sure that someone could write an article explaining how Microsoft’s relative acceptance of privacy is responsible for the lost income of hundreds of other software companies. It would be just as valid, if not more so, to link Microsoft and piracy. Another question: How many people in the early days of MS-DOS bought a PC with it pre-loaded so that they could install a more expensive pirated OS (such as Unix) on it? 2004-09-30 11:08 am People get a PC from Fry’s not because it has Linux on it, but because it costs $200, then get friend who ‘knows computers’ to install Windows on it for them. 2004-09-30 11:47 am Ok – let me ask the opposite question: How many of you folks out there had to buy hir/her/its machine pre-installed with Windows and use it for Linux? Specially in the Laptop-market it is nearly impossible to buy a machine without it. I have 4 OEM Windows’ at home that I never use (1×95,1xME,2xXP) … still statistic count me as a “Windows User” – OMG! Similarly, how many corporate PC have two MS-Windows licences (a corporate one and one from the OEM)? It is worth noting that it is impossible to accurately gauge the level of desktop linux usage and pirated MS-Windows usage. The general rule of thumb tends to be, to take figures for PC sales then subtract the figure for MS-Windows sales, by this rule desktop Linux PCs would have to increase Windows Piracy. I wonder they have taken into account the reduction piracy from the ones which remain Linux only (i.e. there is a lot less commercial software to pirate available for Linux) or the fact that a linux only PC is worse (from an MS view point) than PC with a pirated copy of MS-Windows. Still, the growing acceptance of Linux has prompted Microsoft to hatch plans for releasing an inexpensive version of Windows, called Windows XP Starter Edition in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia and India. “It is likely that Microsoft would prefer the initial OS on a new PC to be a Windows variant rather than Linux, even if piracy were to continue,” the report stated. “This would reduce the amount of interest that Linux is generating because of its increasing presence on new PCs.” (from the article) That is a brilliant quote, very insightful. I can’t quite workout how MS expect to get people to pay more for a PC with XP-SE than they would for a fully functional Linux system – I’m sure they have their ways. 2004-09-30 11:48 am That has been always the way to do bussiness of MicroSoft. Let everybody copy our false “copy protected” OS so there is no other system on the market and we can charge for it afterwards to OEM’s, companies,… If they wanted this not to happen, they would give you a security key with it and would have created security systems for the next generation computers. 2004-09-30 12:05 pm People buying PC’s to have a fresh copy of XP installed. 1) Perhaps they had a machine just die and the customers potentially have a copy of XP sitting around. Why should the consumer have to buy a 2nd copy. O’Yes the non-transferable license that MS puts into their EULA. Do, I endorse pirace: No; however, license terms should be fair to the consumer. I might be a low cost machine; I would not install windows on it. I would either change the distrobution or go with *bsd’s. Not everyone who buys a low cost PC is pirating windows. Think about this: 1) Why, do all new PC’s have to have windows already installed on them? There was a time that MS would go after business that didnt install windows on them. 2) Why do users have to pay for XP a second time if their first PC has had a major hardware failure. How about a fair license. I am surprised that this article didnt mention that people would use something like VMWare and keep reinstalling the OS when their 30 days ran out. This is pure fud. 2004-09-30 12:08 pm I was in the local chain electronics store and found XP selling for 180 usd. XP will expire when Longhorn hits the streets. Time to pay 200-300 usd, for a system to be patched. 2004-09-30 12:34 pm In order to prevent people from pirating windows I suggest we ship a copy of windows with every PC. Same with Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, CuteFTP and a motherload of games. I wonder WHY people tend to pirate the aformentioned pieces of software. *rubs chin* Could it be the ludicrous price? Of course not. 2004-09-30 12:47 pm The Facts are simple : PC sold without Windows are often used with a pirated copy of this OS. From big brands you can buy Linux PC, not encumbered with Windows license. Consequency some people buy Linux PC as if they were bare hardware on wich to install Windows. The source of their data is debatable, but honestly this is hardly a surprise. But the twist is to explain that Linux is guilty of the piracy because of this really poor link. Then pursuing to an attack on “Linux on the desktop” which as NO link with the initial story and no new argument. I’ve been using Linux on desktop, laptop, server, whatever for a few years, and I’m not sure it is ok for anybody’s desktop. Since most Linux installation are on PCs sold with Windows they are not accounted in sales data and are quite untrackable. So may nobody can really know. But I’m sure that this idea of desktop Linux does get on the nerves of some in Redmond to attract that much corporate flack…. 2004-09-30 1:12 pm I’d think they’d be pirating Windows enabling them to use certain APPLICATIONS (bought or pirated). I really don’t see people pirating Windows for Windows… If Windows software ran on Linux and OS X WELL, then nobody would use Windows… I know I wouldn’t Jb 2004-09-30 1:17 pm :: fake ticker :: fake ticker :: fake ticker :: OEM Windows a vehicle for faking Desktop-Linux usage-statistics ******************************************************** The GNU ThinkTank issued a report on Sunday stating that about 10 percent of PCs mandatoryly preinstalled with Windows will be modified to run a legal copy of Linux faking Desktop-Linux statistics in favor of Microsoft. :: fake ticker :: fake ticker :: fake ticker :: 2004-09-30 2:02 pm I installed a pirated copy of Linux over my legal copy of Windows. 2004-09-30 2:14 pm I really get tired of reading the comments stating how much people love Windows. C’mon, now! Windows is, for all intents and purposes, forced upon them. They don’t like Windows, they tolerate it. It is, for most, ONLY an overpriced, insecure and buggy means to an end, which is the ability to use readily available applications and games on relatively cheap hardware. So, what does all this pirating nonsense boil down to? Microshaft charges too much for its OS. 2004-09-30 2:23 pm We had a visit at one of our Dutch offices by an organisation checking the legality of our software licenses and such. They gave me a whole list with the licenses we were obliged to run … I was pretty shocked about the details, but they told me that they got it because all those licenses were attached to hardware we purchased and registrered for hardware warrantee purposes. On the list that was handed over were multiple Windows and Solaris licenses and I really had a lot of explaining to do about the fact that we didn’t use any of those licenses because we only run BSD flavors. They at first really didn’t believe me, but after checking our solutions they could only conclude that we ‘indeed didn’t run any of the software on the list’…… but I’m sure our licenses are counted towards the total of ‘registered’ users… morons. 2004-09-30 3:29 pm I wander how many people get a PC with crippled XP Home and delete it and stick the Pro version on there? Or even sticking Windows 2003 Server on there? I’m sure a lot of warez kiddies will be deleting their legal or otherwise XP OS and sticking Longhorn on it when that comes out. I wander what that tells us? 2004-09-30 3:34 pm I know of an organization that bought lots of new desktops/laptops from Dell with XP Home preinstalled and them promptly formatted the harddrives and installed Windows 2000. 2004-09-30 3:48 pm Through pirated copies!!!! That is what have happened long ago, even since the first windows version. In my area (South East Asia) almost 100% student learn to use computer (using MSDOS and later Windows) from pirated copies. We cannot buy all those pirated Unix or Mac (yes for OSX but not everyone got Apple) However by getting large userbase, MS get the benefit since it is the only known OS in the community which lead to popular adoption by companies using mostly licenced copies. 2004-09-30 3:56 pm I know several people who have bought those el-cheapo PCs for themselves or as “disposable” computers for their kids. NONE of them are running Linux anymore. In fact, a friend of mine (even worse with computers than my husband) ran out and got one after her ancient W95 box died and then gave me a frantic call because she started it up and there was something wrong with it. It didn’t have Windows. And it was asking her questions she didn’t know how to answer. I explained that she was running Linux which was an operating system that was windows-like. “How do I get my AOL on it?” Uh, you don’t. Not unless you go to the web interface. “Will it work with my digital camera? What about my scanner?” Probably, but no gurantees. “Can I put my copy of Works on it?” Not in a put the disk in make with the double clicky and bam, you’re running Works manner, no. But you shouldn’t need Works, you should have a much much better office program called Open Office on it. “Um, how come I can’t open this WMP file?” Um, because the idiots at the factory didn’t think to make a disk image with MPlayer or somesuch plugged into the browser and I have no idea which one to send you looking for. At the end of the day, the lack of AOL ended up being the deal breaker for her. It’s now running XPHome. (And has been infected with several viruses, too.) 2004-09-30 3:59 pm Several years ago. It had become less and less frequent I booted it, until it finally gave me “instant blue”. It’s amazing how an OS can elliminate itself over time, not even being on…. Now I have a blue-fullscreen image I can switch to once in a while when I have a Linux configuration problem to remind me how it could have been. I didn’t pay for that blue image, but I wouldn’t be surprised if MS has some kind of patent on it. Steve PS: Did they ever get that OS ready for the desktop (?) 2004-09-30 5:16 pm The reason why I am happy: these “linux OEMs” are breaking the M$ tax strategy of closing their eyes for domestic piracy while they earn money selling OEM licenses (forcing hardware makers to accept abusive clauses) and volume licenses to big companies, creating a monopoly on desktops to sell applications in the future. If MS cannot earn money with OEMs they will have less power to compete with linux and maybe desktop monopoly can be destroyed. 2004-09-30 5:33 pm The main cause of divorce is marriage. The main cause of software piracy is commercial software. These accusations against Linux sound like oxymorons… 2004-09-30 9:15 pm What about those who delete XP Home and install a pirated copy of XP Professional, 2003 server, Windows 2000 or any other MS product? There is a decent ($100 or more) difference between XP Home, which is typically the bundled OS, and these other alternatives. I guess that if absolute numbers are considered, there is much more piracy going on from XP Home to some other MS product. 2004-09-30 9:56 pm I have 4 PC’s in the house. 2 Prebuilts, and 2 Home brew. 3 run Linux. The wife prefers Win2k. My last two give away machines, prebuilts(HP and Dell) were given to sisters who wanted puters, one chose linux for security, one chose windows for educational games. The tally. 4 Pc’s started life as Win Boxes and two home brews. Current Os’es: One Win2k One 98SE 4 Mandrake’s Sorry MS, I have bought more license that I run. I don’t want to even add in the count of internet friends I ahve converted, you might be embarassed! Bill 2004-09-30 11:10 pm We’ve all read and have seen the Microsoft EULA hula, and how vendors do the dance and that it’s virtually impossible for honest Linux Users to purchase bare systems or return Windows XP for a refund. Do a little mental arithmetic and you’ll see that the number of Linux systems that end up running some unlicensed iteration of Windows will be way below the number of systems that bought and purchased that end up running Linux. I can just imagine the next chapter of the kind of rationalization that flows from the kind of thinking Microsoft is paying Gartner to tout; i.e. Microsoft’s hegemony should mandate Windows be purchased with all hardware because of the possibility it will be pirated due to the ‘need’ the Microsoft hegemony creates. 2004-10-01 12:08 am This is the Equivalent of stating: Japanese cars are dangerous; since they are less expensive than German cars; they will likely be used for bank-robberies. Pure “ASSUMPTIONS” and we all know what that does. Don’t blame machines for people’s actions. Why not make WIN-XP-PRO as inexpensive as Linux? Don’t be a Fool: Take in the facts, Think, then react. 2004-10-01 2:26 pm C’mon, no one would install windows on top of linux outside of The Groups wildest dream. Pull the other one, it’s got big ben on it… 2004-10-01 5:15 pm Hello!! Compaq/Dell/IBM/Microsoft/etc have been ripping off consumers for years requiring them to buy windows when we have no intention of using it. Dont blame Linux for individuals who choose to steal.