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Romanian President: We Owe It All to Piracy.

When he met Bill Gates, Romanian President Traian Basescu [wiki] basically said that the country built its IT industry based on pirated Microsoft softwares!

Basescu said, during a joint news conference with Gates, that piracy helped the younger generation discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania.

It also helped Romanians improve their creative capacity in the IT industry, which has become famous around the world. He claimed that all this piracy "ten years ago" was an investment in Romania's friendship with Microsoft and with Bill Gates.

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well, I pirate @ home, which allows me to stay up to date, and as an IT manager I strictly buy all my licenses @ work and implement a strict anti-piracy policy.
I think MS and Cie are really winning on this.

Did the Chinese thank Bill too?
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There's something to be said for his logic, which is why Microsoft is starting to get *a little* smart by releasing cheaper and even free versions of their products. For instance, their typical set of development tools (Visual Studio) runs from $500-5,000, far too much for someone in a developing country. But last year they released development tools (dubbed Express) that allow a home user to create stuff for free, and then upgrade later if they need to.

It's not going to stop pirating, but it will probably help some.
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The man is absolutely right. I think that people at MS (and other software companies) actually do realize this -- if only the MSDNAA was easier to get into. (MSDN Academic Alliance is a program that lets students get most microsoft software for free, legally.. but you university has to sign up for it first or something like that).

Piracy has certainly been a blessing for technology, especially in countries with poor economies. Of course the opposite side argues that if there wasn't any piracy, everything would cost 10x less... but being in the industry myself, i somehow doubt that.
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