Ballmer: Piracy Cost Microsoft 95 Percent of Revenue in China

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said earlier this week that piracy costs his company 95 percent of potential revenue in China. Ballmer made the comments in a speech at the opening of the new Asia-Pacific R&D Group headquarters in Beijing. Ballmer rejected the notion that software piracy is rampant in China because PC Software costs too much. He claimed that if someone can afford to purchase a PC in China, they could afford to buy the software to run on it. Most people in China can’t afford to own a computer, let alone Windows 7..

Ballmer went on to say that Microsoft earned six times more per PC sold in countries such as India compared to China, and that if Chinese IP protection were as strong as India’s then the market would be worth "billions of dollars."

Software makers, pirates and the Chinese government have been at odds for a very long time over piracy. Software makers want the government to enforce IP protection laws, pirates do as they see fit because software is pretty expensive and out of reach to citizens, and the government does very little to deal with either problem.

According to data from the Business Software Alliance, 78 percent of software used in China last year was pirated, down from 86 percent in 2005. I suppose that’s something to be excited about.

Source: Ars Technica

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