I know the answer (it's 42)

A blog on coding, .NET, .NET Compact Framework and life in general....

November, 2004

  • I know the answer (it's 42)

    software piracy in India


    I always tried to figure out that in spite of the fact that India will become one of the largest PC markets in the future and that India SW engineers are everywhere, why is there no mainstream software in Indian languages. Yea there is Windows Hindi, and I read somewhere that Windows Bengali is also coming up, but thats after years of existance of Windows in other not so prevalent languages. I always got the answer that this is mainly due to SW piracy. Its so prevalent here that almost no one pays for software and hence the SW companies do not have revenue motive to localize their software for India. A further study revealed that 63% of al PCs in India ship with pirated Windows!!!! A person who is ready to use a pirated OS, will surely not pay for any other software he installs on that box. So this can lead to millions of dollars lost in revenue for the SW companies.


    Its so bad here that frankly till date I have rarely seen a home user using a legitimate copy of Windows. Even when I have seen that, it was in branded PCs which came pre-installed with the OS. The moment I congratulated someone for using a legitimate OS, within a minute he figures out that he was made to pay for the OS by the PC vendor, and he felt bad that he could have got the pc for less if he had a way for not opting for the OS.


    This issue is not only with home users, its every where, its in cyber cafe's, in SOHO, even in mid size organization and colleges. PC vendors are adding fuel to fire by shipping PCs with Linux pre-inslalled on them. This serves as a simple solution to buy a branded PC at a lower cost. People buy this PC, goes home and installs Windows from pirated CDs which cost them around Rs.100, thats a little more than $2. So now you have a branded PC running Windows sans the price.


    Many have suggested that low cost software is a solution to this. I absolutely do not agree with this. It may be a part of a solution but not the solution in itself. SW piracy has become so prevalent that no one feels like paying for it. You are considered a fool if you pay. What is required is a change in the way of thinking, user education and pride of ownership. People need to know that its equivalent to stealing, and is a punishable offense. This is a bad thought though, with 63% of all PCs shipping with pirated OS, it brings most my friends and relatives who own a PC in this category...

  • I know the answer (it's 42)

    Steve Ballmer visiting India


    The CEO of Microsoft Corporation, Steve Balmer is visiting Hyderabad on the 15th (next Monday). There's a lot of excitement around this. He is supposed to inaugurate a part of the new Microsoft Campus and also to lay foundation stone for the second phase.


    Hyderabad is very proud to house the MS IDC, a race it won by defeating several other cities. This visit is raising lot of rumors and some sites have gone as far as to predict that the new center will slowly grow and employ 5000 developers and will be the largest outside US.  Check out http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/915404.cms. This appears to be a very distant reality. Personally I’m eager to hear what he has to say.


    MS was working out of rented facilities that spread across multiple floors in different buildings. Since these building are part of Software Parks, some additional benefits come with it. You get banks, ATMs, florists, travel agents, restaurants all at the same place.


    However, like most people I prefer the company having its own campus. You get a feel of unity and get to meet a lot more people from your own company. Casual chats over a cup of coffee can give amazing insight into a different technology domain which the other guy sharing your table works in. I just can’t wait to get into the new building once it start functioning…

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