Ballmer says buffing up WGA will improve Vista sales

By Justin Mann on February 19, 2007, 5:24 PM
Those pirates. What are they up to now? Apparently, they are damaging Vista sales. That's right, or at least that's right according to Steve Ballmer. Following up on last week's decline in Microsoft shares and Ballmer talking about “overly-optimistic” sales predictions, he went on to cite piracy in China, India, Brazil and Russia as key sources of revenue lost, as well as other “emerging” markets. Could that really be truth, not even three weeks past the release? Cracked versions of Vista aren't exactly falling from the sky. Regardless, he also proposed a solution to the problem that would increase revenue – toughening WGA:

Ballmer believes that one way Microsoft can bump up Windows sales is to tighten the screws on pirates. "Piracy reduction can be a source of Windows revenue growth, and I think we'll make some piracy improvements this year."
Would making WGA more restrictive than it already is do anything to improve sales? It seems far fetched in the least and simply ridiculous at the worst. A pirate isn't phased by lack of updates to begin with. The only steps I can see them taking now is making a system disable itself if it attempts to update. If that happened, odds are it'd be cracked. Wishful thinking for sure.

User Comments: 8

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shl0791 said:
Sales of laptops and desktops have picked up since Vista was released. You just don't find many people buying just the software by itself. Especially since half of the computers in the world would slow down using it. Vista's a power hog, just like XP when it first came out. I say look at the numbers 2 years from now. It's going to be a different picture.
canadian said:
How many resources are already being wasted with DRM and WGA in Vista?
---agissi--- said:
Now thats what Im talking about Canadian.. its gotta be a chunk of ram esp for people who arent enthusiasts like us who run 1 and 2gbs. Plus who knows how much cpu time is wasted.
DragonMaster said:
Hey, the demo lasts 120 day with the rearm trick, give at least 120 days after the release to comment sales.
kitty500cat said:
What does it matter if they make systems w/pirated software crash? It's ppl's own fault for pirating stuff in the first place.
Phantasm66 said:
I just paid 120 for an OEM version of Vista Ultimate. I think its definitely time I started paying for legit copies of Windows considering how much I use it. If you don't want to pay or can't pay then switch to Linux.
PanicX said:
@kitty500catThe problem isn't crashing pirated software, the problem is false positives and phishing victims. Suppose you legitimately purchased Vista and 2 months later, Microsoft crashes your system and deletes your data (they've actually considered this). Did you deserve that? If your cousin plays on your PC and installs a key sniffing trojan, thinking its the latest Britney Spears video, do you deserve Microsoft crashing your machine?Perhaps you still think theres no harm in a user with a crashing PC. But keep in mind that this software is also used in more places that are far more reaching than the home user. Vista will be installed in Medical offices, Government offices and many other critical infrastructure systems. Can we afford to let Microsoft disable these PC's at will? If a pharmacist PC crashes and they can't cross check your prescription against your other medications, could this be a problem?There are ways to fight piracy, some worse than others. But thats not really what this article is about. Ballmer is simply scapegoating lack luster sales for poor marketing strategy and lack of desired product. I may be wrong, but I tend to think that those who pirate software for personal use, are the same people that wouldn't buy it anyway. I also find it infinitely annoying that the projected solution is to encumber legitimate customers with hurdles to use the product.
mmjackson said:
Microsoft's problem has nothing to do with Pirates - it is the buggy, dissappointing software they refer to as an Operating System and new Office Suite.I actually had all of our company's systems re-built specifically to run Vista and Window's 2007. After trying their mess on a couple of systems, it did not take long to pull Vista and Office 2007 off and go back to XP and 2003 Office Pro.
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