Subject: Re: HBS WK: Who will win Microsoft or Linux?
From: jean_camp <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 11:38:55 -0400

Carlos Osorio did a model of this in his work on illegal copying, at

Illegal copying gets network effects. So the few people or businesses 
who buy software will buy the software that people know how to use.  
Documentation is published about illegal copies.  People start 
secondary businesses based upon the market size, not the legal market 

Illegal copies are a good way to utilize local knowledge about what is 
valuable. If you can track what is copied you know how to invest on 
what to sell.

The advantage of Linux in these environments is that it works on cheap 


On Jun 6, 2005, at 4:50 PM, Seth Gordon wrote:

>> How does it benefit Microsoft to have a lot of poor people using it's
>> systems? They make the argument that it does, but I just don't get 
>> that
>> one.
>> I do get how piracy could be helpful to Microsoft IF people then 
>> other MS products, or bought an MS OS upgrade, but just having Windows
>> on a lot of boxes of people who won't pay for software... that doesn't
>> do Microsoft any good at all.
> Think of a developing country where the vast majority of people with 
> computers would have to spend a year's wages to buy a legitimate copy 
> of Windows, but where the economy is expected to grow and people are 
> expected to get richer.
> Once the country becomes richer, all the people who run Linux and have 
> experience using Linux become part of the market for Linux-based 
> applications and tools.  All the people who run pirated copies of 
> Windows and have experience using Windows become part of the market 
> for Windows-based applications and tools, *and furthermore*, they (or 
> their employers) have enough money that Microsoft can start enforcing 
> their copyrights.