The Associated Press' Brian Bergstein reports that anti-copying technologies may be reducing software piracy.
The technology has provoked some hostility, because it enables Microsoft to remotely examine user computers. After analyzing such information as the computer's manufacturer, hard drive serial number and Windows product identification, Microsoft can block access to certain software functions if it suspects the product was illegally copied.
Does possibly antagonizing consumers actually benefit software publishers? At least in MSFT's case, it apparently does:
Microsoft does not offer piracy statistics specific for its software. But the company says it appears its plan is working. As evidence, the company notes that in the last quarter, Windows sales were up 20 percent while worldwide PC sales were up only 14 to 16 percent. Microsoft said the difference reflected the fact that people with counterfeit copies of Windows were having to put the real thing on their existing computers.