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Microsoft: don't use pirated software, but if you do, use ours

Jeff RaikesMicrosoft spends an awful lot of money every year trying to make sure you don't use bootleg copies of their software. But Microsoft business group president Jeff Raikes had something interesting to say at the Morgan Stanley Technology conference last week.

Essentially, he said if people are going to use pirated software, he'd prefer they use bootleg copies of Microsoft programs.

While this sounds funny at first, it actually makes a lot of sense. If you're using a bootleg copy of Office 2007, you might be tempted to pick up a copy of Office 2011 or whatever's next. And while you might be able to find a way to download a pirated copy of that too, maybe Microsoft will finally come up with an uncrackable copy protection scheme (ha!), or you'll be in a position where you're more comfortable paying for software by the time the next version comes out.

But it's still not something you'd expect to hear someone at Microsoft actually say out loud.

Tags: bootleg, Jeff Raikes, JeffRaikes, pirate