Explained: Microsoft knows most PC owners use pirated Windows, but why it still won’t take any action

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A 2018 study reported that at least 91 per cent of PC users in India are using a pirated copy of Windows. In fact, even when one buys a new PC or a laptop with preinstalled Windows, 80-85 per cent of the time, the user gets a pirated copy of the operating system. The interesting thing here is that Microsoft is well aware of this fact as well as the numbers behind it. 

Explained: Microsoft knows most PC owners use pirated Windows, but why it still won’t take any action

One might imagine, that given how stringent and litigious most tech companies are about their products being used without a proper license, companies like Microsoft would be sending such users cease and desist notices or downright have them prosecuted for piracy. In fact, Microsoft can instantly block the usage of your PC or laptop in such a way, that it simply won’t boot into the desktop. 

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The reality though is much different. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t really care now if a PC user is using a pirated copy of Windows. Why is it though?

Microsoft is in fact relying on the fact that you use a copy of pirated Windows, as long as it is in fact a Windows operating system that you go for, as opposed to any other alternative.

Well, that is as long as the PC in question and the user, are using the operating system for their personal usage. In fact, in an interview, Bill Gates, when he was the CEO, president and chief software architect at Microsoft, had once stated, that as long as people are stealing software and using pirated operating systems, we want them to steal ours. 

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Explained: Microsoft knows most PC owners use pirated Windows, but why it still won’t take any action

The idea behind this thought is, that if Microsoft allows private individual users to use a pirated copy of Windows, chances are the people who are learning about computers, as well as children, will develop their computer skills around a Windows system. 

Similarly, if they turn a blind eye toward schools and educational institutes using pirated windows, they will have a generation of computer users, whose prefered operating system is Windows.

Now, when such an individual joins the workforce and has to use a computer, they will have to provide their employees with a machine with Windows on it, despite the fact that there are tons of free, open source operating systems out there. 

Microsoft actually takes piracy of Windows very seriously, if it is being committed by a business or corporation. They do send out notices, even to non-profit organisations, when they find out that computers used in the business use pirated Windows. In such a case, the business or the company has to pay for a legitimate Windows license, which Microsoft is more than happy to customise, both in terms of services needed, as well fee for each machine where their operating system is being installed. This is where Microsoft actually makes the bulk of its money from software sales. 

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