We regularly hear reports about the cost to the software industry of software piracy, but are the claims to be taken at face value? Statistics are notoriously biased towards what the author is trying to say.
Types of Software:
There are three basic types of software, although these do have their own subsections, as will be discussed later:
1. Commercial software, purchased with a licence for one or more computers. This generally is coupled with some form of support and regular updates to patch errors etc. Sometimes a new version of the software is offered at a reduced rate as "update". This type of software is generally relatively expensive and is often designed to cover specific industrial purposes. The big exception is the various sets of "office" software, which are designed for use in the commercial environment, but can naturally be equally used for various tasks at home. The most common application in this category is, of course, text editing. Most of the other classic "office" applications, such as calculations and data bases are only of limited use in the domestic environment, although they will be used in some cases, particularly now that the more computer-literate generation is growing.
2. Simplified or "lite" versions of the commercial software. These are intended principally for small businesses and enterprises that do not need the complete capabilities of, say, a 3-D modelling system, but must be able to view such documentation and prepare compatible drawings. Again, the "office" environment was a long time not represented in this sector, but has recently started to be available. These will also come with a single or multiple, but limited licence and now mostly be registered with the manufacturer.
3. Free or "open source" software. This is designed for general distribution and has no particular limitations as to use, except that it may not be changed in any way. Naturally, such software has its limitations, but may serve very adequately for many purposes. Practically all types of software are to be found in this category. One notable application distributes the software to read its documents freely, but charges for the software to produce the documents. This policy is arguably the motor behind its ride to a position as industry standard, since you can always be certain that he receiver can decipher whatever is sent, without long discussions about compatibility and versions.
Clearly, there can be no piracy of products that fall into the third category, except for changing of the code or reuse of the code for other purposes, but this does not appear to be a major issue at the moment, so we will concentrate our attention on the first two categories.
Both of these categories contain software that is copied and distributed either free of charge or for a nominal fee. Naturally, the full versions of the software are preferred, but the simplified versions are also to be found, depending on what is available.
Types of Software Pirate
This puts our software pirates into two categories of their own:
1. Those who knowingly use a copy of software "borrowed" from work or supplied by friends, who probably acquired it by the same means.
2. Those who prepare copies of software from an original and sell it at a low price through internet auctions or on market stands. Their customers may, in many cases, be unaware that the software has been pirated and simply be pleased to acquire a software package at a bargain price. Some will be quite well aware of the actual source, but still prepared to take this means of saving money.
Composition of the Groups:
So who is to be found in these two groups?
1. This group is very widely ranged and consists of school children, people practicing at home with the company software, various private persons with an interest in computers who will try anything that is free and, possibly, very small businesses. Many schools will supply their students with copies of software licensed for the school to enable them to complete homework or learn to use it for technical subjects. A student finishing a technical school with little or no knowledge of the technical software used in their industry will not easily find employment, so a blind eye is turned in many schools to this practice. Schoolwork is often required to be written on computer these days, and again, this is only really possible if some form of text software is available. Those who use company software at home to play with or for their children to complete homework are also a large group. The computer has become a part of our lifestyle in the western hemisphere, and many people are interested in the possibilities opened by the modern generation of powerful number-crunchers. The days of mainframe computers costing hundreds of thousands of dollars is not gone, but the small computer in a network has taken over in many areas, so the professional software that would earlier have required a mainframe connection and a whole basement full of equipment will now run happily on a home computer. There may be a loss of speed, but who cares? The vast majority of these people know full well that what they are doing is not allowed, but consider this as a very minor matter, and would laugh at any suggestion that they should purchase the software officially. The few companies that also do this are saving money that they probably do not have, despite being aware of the risks.
2. The group of people who copy software and distribute it for sale as being genuine are working simply for profit, taking advantage of the simplicity of the process and the high prices of genuine software. The general public is not aware of the penalties for this type of action and is often unsure about recognising the genuine article. Other items in the consumer market are available from many manufacturers as basically identical products, so why should this not be the case with software? Very many are simply duped into buying what they see as a cheap alternative to a brand-marked product.
Costs of Software Piracy:
So what are the real costs to the software companies?
In most cases, school and college students would not be in a position to pay the costs for the expensive commercial software they use in technical subjects, and the schools and colleges are not in a position to supply this to them free of charge. Most schools have licences for software to be used on the premises, but this is not available for the students at home. Theoretically, they will use the computers at school to complete work and practice, but this is generally not possible due to a lack of resources, or classrooms locked because of vandalism. The only way to solve the problem is for the schools to simply distribute the software to their students on the basis of it being only for their use. There is no licence and no direct upgrade possible. Generally, although illegal, this system works quite well. Schools try to copy upgrades and patches for their students, mostly successfully. The snag to the matter is that we educate people in that this is perfectly acceptable practice, despite it being illegal. No-one would think of insisting or even checking that drop-out students erase the software and no longer use it, but this is probably fairly well assured by the fact that they have dropped out in the first place!
Solutions to Software Piracy:
One of the best-known software companies has recently started to sell a slightly simplified version of their software in a student package, stating that this is not for commercial use. Naturally, this is being distributed to everybody without regard to their true status as student or not! Nevertheless it is a definite move in the right direction. Providing an affordable alternative is the first step towards a solution for this problem. The quality is good and it contains all the usual features that are needed.
Other companies also offer free software for student use, but this is in most cases pitifully inadequate and simply not up to the job and no preparation for later commercial practice. It remains to be seen how far the availability of reasonably priced student software will affect sales of the commercial product. One of the factors presumably behind this move is the general attitude that the present software is perfectly adequate and can be used for a length of time without being replaced. Since many software houses have distanced themselves from the idea of upgrade software for older versions at a reduced price, this attitude will probably cause sales of the full commercial software to be limited to new systems, and not as an improvement on older systems.
The new wave of student software is probably intended to bridge this gap somewhat by providing extra revenue. Whether the fears of the others that the production of a student version at greatly reduced price will cut into their sales of the full, commercial version will prove to be correct, or the alternative view that these are complementary products will prevail will remain to be seen.
Benefits of Student Use:
It is undoubtedly true that someone who has trained on one type of software will tend to remain loyal to it as far as company policies allow and that this is a definite motivation to purchase a type of software, hence the policy of the schools is unlikely to be challenged or mentioned publicly. Nevertheless, there is no reason for forcing our youth into criminal activity! Providing a solution that allows people to use these applications during training legally should be a priority for the software houses that will bring some revenue in the short term, and possibly more in the long term. One of the problems in the computer branch has always been the emphasis on short term results and quick profits, but this attitude will have to change soon to allow for these factors.
"Fun " Use:
Again, the people who use the company software at home for fun cannot really be seen as a risk to the profits of a software company. They would simply spend their time otherwise in the evenings if they did not have this possibility! The matter only then becomes problematic when they begin producing work privately for other companies. This would then definitely be a matter for concern, both for the producers of the software and other companies in the same branch, who have to calculate the costs of software into their prices.
The problem is also geographically different. Most of the software packages originate, at least on paper, from the United States. The prices in Europe tend to be 1.5 to 2 times higher, without considering sales tax of any type, which is generally higher in most European countries. Whilst this may not be of consequence for the run of low-cost software, it is a significant difference when complex design or technical applications are considered. This price differential is often explained by higher support costs or translation costs, but these factors alone cannot be the complete reason. A change in this policy would probably help to reduce the level of use of copies in the commercial field at least. Splitting software packages into easily-upgraded elements would also enable small companies to purchase what they need immediately and then add the extra features in time as and when necessary.
Reasons for Software Piracy:
Software piracy is legally a crime, but it is a crime that is still acceptable in our society. Very little has been done to combat it for a number of reasons. One reason is that it is almost universal amongst users of computers. Many people "need" an application once per year and do not wish to pay the sometimes horrendous cost for the commercial licences. Companies have made no real attempt to combat it until now, since this is a form of free advertising, and the benefits of having it available to students have been mentioned above. It is only now, when the earning curve start to tip downhill that this is seen as a threat to company existence. In reality it is relatively simple to make something extremely difficult to copy. Impossibility is a dream in the computer world these days!
That criminal activity should be hindered and software piracy is, broadly speaking, theft, is quite correct, but the solution is not just to seek out and punish wrong-doers, but to find a solution for all these groups of people who, for one reason or other, wish to use the software, but cannot, or will not, find the means of paying the present market cost. An imaginative solution to this problem could well be the break-through that a company needs to make itself known in every household, provided the product is correct.
Simon Fowler is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and now works as sales technician for flue gas analyzers. He is presently employed by madur electronics in Vienna, Austria.
One of the things we can be as certain of as death and taxes is that in every meeting at least one person will hand out a document for comments and discussion. But think of the huge workload this gives rise to for the author. She can only hope that not too many people respond, or that they don't all do so at once!
Corporate ERP: Standard vs. Rich functionality ? Microsoft Great Plains
Traditionally we were considering functionally rich systems, such as SAP, Oracle Financials, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards as the fit for large publicly traded corporation. There might be multiple opinions for the future corporate ERP/MRP systems. We would like to give you our prognosis: high-end systems will be losing market to generic granulated standard functionality systems. Customization will be in high demand ? but it will be appropriate to go for light of medium customization versus purchasing high-end functionality system. It is not a secret, that nowadays multiple companies from Fortune 500 list use midmarket solution, such as Microsoft Great Plains as their corporate ERP. In this small article we'll try to defend our position and give you highlights on deploying Microsoft Great Plains for large corporation.
Lotus Notes Domino and Microsoft CRM Integration
Well, even if the combination might look very unusual, we see the coexistence of these two systems, especially in large corporations, non-profit organizations. Technically Lotus Notes Domino has parallel structure, including Domino email server. Lotus is extremely flexible and you can program your own CRM or purchase CRM for Lotus, however Microsoft CRM has Microsoft SQL Server database and very simple Sales automation module. Let's look at the integration reasons and scenarios. Be sure that each specific case requires custom programming, tuning and support.
Microsoft Small Business Manager eCommerce ? Overview
Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Manager is scaled down Great Plains Dexterity based version of Microsoft Great Plains or former Great Plains Dynamics/eEnterprise. Small Business Manager first release 7.0 and all the following version was available on MSDE (MS SQL Server 2000 with limited usage and database size ? 2GB maximum). It is nice situation on the market in eCommerce niche ? we see huge number of customers, who have purchased and implemented SBM for their small and mid-size businesses and then realized that customization options for Small Business Manager are very limited: in comparison to Great Plains SBM doesn't have VBA/Modifier, it has very restricted version of Integration Manager. These restrictions lead you, eCommerce developer to direct SQL programming. Again ? being scaled down version of Microsoft Great Plains ? Small Business Manager has a legacy of relatively complex tables structure. tom stored procedures way here:
How To Create A Data Capture Procedure Checklist For Your Small Business CRM Software
Fortunately one of the most common reasons cited for the high failure rate of CRM systems - poor data quality - is also one of the easiest to avoid. Your CRM software is only as good as the information it contains. As the old programmers motto goes 'garbage in, garbage out'.
Great Plains Dynamics on Pervasive/Ctree support ? overview for consultant
All of us know that Microsoft bought former Great Plains Software and formed Microsoft (Great Plains) Business Solutions in the earlier 21st century. It was total success for GPS, we guess, but for Great Plains Dynamics / eEnterprise / Dynamics C/S+ clients it was the time of change. First of all ? Great Plains Software, as being independent corporation in 1990th had to stake on certain future predictions. They decided that future should be based on these two basic principles:
Adware and Spyware Blockers
The most important things you can do for your computer right now is to install adware and spyware blockers. Everyone is aware of computer viruses and run an anti-virus program to guard your computer against them.
Simple Solution for Php Includes - IFrames
I have recently created my first Php program. I wanted to share with others some of the problems that I encountered, and how I finally overcame these obstacles.
6 Easy Steps for a Smoother CD/DVD Order
It's all about turn times in the eMedia industry! The speed with which your vendor can get your CD or DVD project completed is vital to many customers. However, responsibility for these projects meeting their completion dates starts with the customer and ends with the vendor. It's a partnership that shares the responsibility. Just follow the 6 easy steps below:
What is Software Piracy?
There are several kinds of software piracy. The bottom line is when software is pirated, the developer does not receive compensation for their work.
Groupware Finds Home in American Business: Collaboration Tool Analysis
What is Groupware?
Linux vs Windows Operating Systems
With so many Microsoft Windows related viruses, errors, and other software problems, many average computer users are looking at alternative operating system platforms, such as Linux. It is important that users, frustrated with Windows, don't simply install a version of Llinux without knowing what they are in for. There are many important differences between Windows and Linux that anyone considering a change should be fully aware of. Herein we discuss some of the similarities and differences between Windows and Linux so you can get a better idea as to which operating system is really best for you.
How To Choose A Fire Wall Software Program
In the real world a "fire wall" is a fireproof wall that is built to stop the spread of fire from one part of a building to others. In the Internet world a firewall has a similar purpose in that it stops the spread of harmful viruses and attacks from entering your home or office network.
Linux for Home Users
Hey Guys! Don't raise your eyebrows or fear by hearing the word Linux. It is as user friendly as windows. Just take a look at the articles below and all myths about Linux in your mind will disappear.
Should I Use Windows Update?
Should one use Windows Update?
Crystal Reports for Microsoft Great Plains ? Overview for Developer
Microsoft Great Plains is main accounting / ERP application from Microsoft Business Solutions, targeted to the US market. It serves the whole of vertical and horizontal market: most of the industries and company sizes. Crystal Reports on the other hand is the leader in the reporting software industry and Microsoft is willing to use Crystal as main reporting tool for Great Plains, Solomon, Microsoft CRM, .Net platform, etc. If you are developer who is asked: how do we extend Great Plains ReportWriter with somewhat more sophisticated ? read this and you will have the clues on where to look further. Great Plains Tables Structure ? first of all you need to know the tables to link. Launch Great Plains and go to Tools->Resource Description->Tables. Find the table in the proper series. If you are looking for the customers ? it should be RM00101 ? customer master file. If you need historical Sales Order Processing documents ? they are in SOP30200 ? Sales History Header file, etc. Create ODBC connection to GP Company database. Use the same technique as when you create standard ODBC connection for GP workstation ? but change default database to targeted company database. Consider SQL Views ? if you don't want complex links in Crystal Report itself or if you need unionization from several companies ? SQL view is the answer. Consider SQL Stored Procedures. Sometimes you can not pull the data in one view ? you need temporary tables to be created and the final query should be based on these temp tables ? this is when you need stored procedure. Call Crystal Report from GP Screens via VBA/Modifier ? if the user wants to call Crystal report for example - printing Invoices in GP and do it from SOP Entry window ? you can use Modifier and VBA to call Crystal Reports engine. Create SQL Query to probe the data ? we always recommend tuning your query and see that you are getting adequate results ? in any case ? Crystal Report is just a nice tool to show the results of your query. Happy customizing, querying and designing! if you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577! firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Backup Windows XP Home Edition
Your computer cost you from hundreds to thousands of dollars, but the computer itself is not the most valuable part. The data on the hard disk is the most valuable part. How many hours of work did you put into creating that data? One little event, like a power line spike from a lightning strike, and all that work could be lost. Unfortunately, backing up with Windows XP Home Edition is not as simple as it should be.
Microsoft CRM Modification ? Overview for IT Specialist
Microsoft CRM is now on the scene and it is increasing its market share, due to the Microsoft Business Solutions muscles and marketing strategy. It is tightly integrated with other Microsoft Business Solutions products such as Microsoft Great Plains, Solomon, Navision.
Microsoft CRM Implementation - US Market Lessons
Microsoft CRM is CRM answer from Microsoft Business Solutions. If you compare it to other traditional CRM applications, such as Siebel - you will see that Microsoft CRM does use all the resent Microsoft technologies, that means that Microsoft targets its CRM to Windows market exclusively, plus this means that Microsoft CRM is more difficult in its installation. Microsoft doesn't even have to care about other platforms, such as Linux/Unix or Apple. Now - we see kind of paradoxical situation when Microsoft CRM is gaining market share even in recession and early post-recession time. Where is the secret?
Microsoft Business Solutions Partner ? How to Launch New IT Consulting Practice
In the new era of internet marketing the problem of severe competition comes into the first position. If you look back into 1990-th you will find high tech companies using traditional sales techniques: purchasing local and regional businesses contact lists, making cold calls and then trying hard sales closing techniques, such as "selling to the top" ? IBM style, selling to VITO (very important top officer), etc. It did work those old days. We would dare to announce that these days are gone and these techniques are now obsolete.
|home | site map|