Chasing Pirates

Great NYT feature column by Ashlee Vance about the battles Microsoft has to fight in the name of counter-piracy.

Donal Keating, a physicist who leads Microsoft’s forensics work, has turned the lab into an anti-piracy playpen full of microscopes and other equipment used to analyze software disks. Flat-screen monitors show data about counterfeit sales, and evidence bags almost overflow with nearly flawless Windows and Office fakes. Mr. Keating serves as the CD manufacturing whiz on what amounts to Microsoft’s version of the A-Team, clad in business-casual attire.

As John Gruber notes, so much of these efforts revolve around physical media: CDs, holographic stickers, DVDs.  I wonder how much of this is attributable to Microsoft’s enterprise footprint?  In my experience, enterprises want physical media, whereas most consumers are happy with an online install.

Ask yourself: when’s the last time you really used physical media to install software?


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