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Linux and Piracy

One of the biggest plus points to Linux is that it is free. Truly, $0, nillium free. The only costs involved are those of downloading, and perhaps burning onto a CD or DVD. Compare that to the hundreds of dollars you dish out for a copy of Windows. The premium beef (the Ultimate editions) cost even more.

The world has many people. About 7 billion of them. Europe and America has just 897.2 million of them (Source: Wolfram Alpha). And the rest of the world owns plenty of computers.

But this rest of the world is not too rich. Not rich enough to buy and maintain hundred dollar worth Microsoft Windows operating systems. Seems like a perfect opportunity for Linux to pervade, right?

I’ve written before about what Linux really lacks. It doesn’t lack much really. But why does the world in general not use Linux madly?

The answer to this is, of course, piracy. I can talk about my own country. I can safely estimate that there are many millions of computers in my developing country of over 150,000,000. And over 95% of them use one or another version of Microsoft Windows.

Why would any average user want to bother with Linux when he can obtain a pirated version of the latest Windows Vista Ultimate 2 (with service pack 2, of course) for less than half a dollar?

What Linux really lacks is, after all, not an image or brand. It lacks a Microsoft that can enforce anti-piracy procedures in all parts of the world.

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