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If You're Going To Steal Software, Steal From Us: Microsoft Exec

If you're going to be a software counterfeiter, then please copy and illegally use Microsoft products.

The above plea isn't from a posting on a hacker forum. Rather, it's how Microsoft business group president Jeff Raikes feels about software counterfeiters. "If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else," Raikes said.

The remarks might seem surprising, coming from a senior executive at a software company that spends millions each year fighting software piracy and developing copyright protection technologies.

But Raikes, speaking last week at the Morgan Stanley Technology conference in San Francisco, said a certain amount of software piracy actually helps Microsoft because it can lead to purchases by individuals who otherwise might never have been exposed to the company's products.

"We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products," Raikes said. "What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software."

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