How is the uptake for the genuine software business been so far?
According to the BSA numbers, we have reduced piracy in 2009 from 2008 by
1%. But there is a nuance to this number. While the actual reduction is in
percentage points, from 69-68%, IDC increased the PC shipment estimate last
year. So in reality this 1% would be two to three percentage points. There is no
reason to say that what we have done with the local associations has connected
very well with the channel. And we have seen a reduction of piracy in the
Microsoft has three pillars for its anti- piracy drive-educate, engineer
and enforce. Are you focusing on them to reduce piracy?
We are focusing on all three equally. Engineering is what gets done at the
product level. So we are planning to have a transition from Windows Genuine
Advantage (WGA) engine to Windows Activation Technology (WAT) now. Basically for
end-users it is still the same thing. At an activation level, they still have to
activate Windows. At a notification level they still get notified whether their
OS is genuine or not. The WAT is better as it does not let a user tamper with
the activation and if a user does that, the engine reports the machine as having
a pirated copy.
What is the mechanism of enforcement that is applied?
We issue notices to the partners who have been found selling pirated
software and ask them to come for a discussion. We do not put a number telling
them this is the amount of business you have to do. The conversation is about
how much of your software business will be genuine.
Is it true that partners caught selling pirated Microsoft software are
We expect genuine business from them. We are clear that if they are caught
the next time there will not be any across the table discussion; we will have to
take them to the court. The bone of contention amongst partners is not that they
have been asked to pay a fine, which they agree to as they have been caught
doing something they should not have. They are unhappy that they are asked to
buy a few lakh worth of Microsoft products and sell that. We take a commitment
from them that they will not sell pirated copies.
Vinita Bhatia/DQ Channels