__/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Wednesday 17 May 2006 05:55 \__
> This brings back memories - I was working for a large insurance company
> in 1997.
> Wow, I remember Janet when she had the company's account.
> I accidentally left a Linux CD on her desk. She sat right behind me,
> and I couldn't help overhearing all of her conversations with not only
> the company's executives, but so many of her other customers. Very
> That was 1997 - September through January.
> Unfortunately for Janet, the company decided not to upgrade to Office
> 97 from Office 95. We decided to wait until whatever was next came
> out. Since Janet did not meet her quota, so she lost the account.
> The next guy decided that we must not be properly licensed. Microsoft
> insisted on an audit of all software, including all of the client
> access licenses. They also wanted to know every employee who had a
> computer at home.- the bill was $250 million, which, ironically, was
> what the company would have spent on Office 97 - the quota for that
> Appearantly, the way it works is that if you are assigned an account,
> there is a specific dollar amount that you are expected to receive from
> the company, based on that companies previous year purchase, financial
> reports (geared to profits). I'm not sure what the exact formula is,
> only what I happened to overhear from the worman talking from the desk
> across from me. She could really play hardball. She also used the
> "cliff tiered pricing" - explaining how buying way to many copies would
> be cheaper than buying "just enough".
> The irony was that right after they got this huge bill, I was asked to
> put together a presentation on Linux, not just server, but also for the
> desktop. We began moving applications off of Windows Servers as
> quickly as possible. We also pushed platform-independent Java, which
> had to run on both Linux and Windows and on both Netscape and IE.
> Microsoft's strongarm tactics did more to sell Linux than I could ever
> have done.
I am surprised that all of this was possible a decade ago, even without
the assistance of Sun's OpenOffice, among other mechanisms for essentially
unlocking one's data. It remains true that piracy is sometimes the only
way for keeping more and more data locked and thereby having the users
Alas, I am not sure about the capability of large companies to get away
with licences that are not kosher. It is definitely the case with user
whose data *and* skills become application-reliant and dependent.
Title: How Piracy Helps Microsoft Make Billions
,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft estimates it lost $14 billion last year to software piracy.
| The loss may prove to be the most profitable sales never made.
| Although the world's largest software producer spends millions every year
| to combat illegal reproduction of its products, piracy helps the company
| to establish itself in emerging markets and fend off threats from
| free open-source programs. (Source: LAtimes.com)
Title: How Piracy Opens Doors for Windows
,----[ Summary ]
| Bill Gates may not be entirely dismayed by software thieves. They
| seed the world market and make Microsoft a standard.