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Microsoft: Cloud Boosts Piracy

Microsoft's head of anti-piracy efforts says the bad guys are still "one step ahead" of the company's efforts to stifle the $50 billion global software-piracy problem and believes that the rise of cloud computing will make it even tougher to clamp down on the copy-crazy crooks.

Bob Evans

May 5, 2010

2 Min Read

Microsoft's head of anti-piracy efforts says the bad guys are still "one step ahead" of the company's efforts to stifle the $50 billion global software-piracy problem and believes that the rise of cloud computing will make it even tougher to clamp down on the copy-crazy crooks.From a news article on BusinessWeek.com about Microsoft's battles with software pirates:

The world's largest software producer's anti-piracy efforts are hampered by programs that are difficult to distinguish from genuine products, David Finn, associate general counsel for anti-piracy, said by phone. That problem may be exacerbated by the spread of cloud computing, whereby programs are hosted on the Web rather than on users' hard drives, he said. . . . "As they get smarter and as the ways of avoiding detection get more elaborate, we have to raise our game."

That's definitely a good plan because the bad guys have certainly been cranking up their own levels of performance, and emerging technologies such as cloud computing seem to be giving them yet another growth opportunity. Indeed, Microsoft's Finn said in the article that the surging popularity of cloud computing will "make our job tougher."

That's ironic in a way because in the past few months Microsoft has made a massive, companywide commitment to cloud computing that's led by CEO Steve Ballmer and captured in the company's new motto of "all in" for the cloud. But since Microsoft has been a primary target of software pirates for the past 30 years, it's certainly going to devote some of its new corporate focus on the cloud to anti-piracy efforts so perhaps that'll help ease Finn's feelings that he's playing the Boston Celtics four-on-five.

The article also points to a study saying that the monetary value of unlicensed software in use around the world rose 5% in 2008 to $50.2 billion.

About the Author(s)

Bob Evans

Contributor

Bob Evans is senior VP, communications, for Oracle Corp. He is a former InformationWeek editor.

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