Microsoft: We're not sure if SaaS will impact on software piracy

Microsoft has been increasing its efforts to battle software piracy using lawsuits and educational programs to bring more illegal users into the light. But as Microsoft moves toward delivering more applications as services, its anti-piracy tactics will also have to change, according to solution providers. Microsoft's services portfolio currently consists of Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications […]

Microsoft has been increasing its efforts to battle software piracy using lawsuits and educational programs to bring more illegal users into the light. But as Microsoft moves toward delivering more applications as services, its anti-piracy tactics will also have to change, according to solution providers.

Microsoft's services portfolio currently consists of Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications Server, Dynamics CRM and Live Meeting, and an online version of its System Center management software is reportedly in the works. But eventually, Microsoft plans to deliver a much broader swath of applications as services.

It's likely that Software as a service, which Microsoft calls Software Plus Services, will make it more difficult for pirates since it obviates the need for physical media and license certificates. But Microsoft, at least at this stage, isn't ready to speculate on the impact that Software Plus Services will have on piracy.

“It is too early to speak to the possibility of [Software Plus Services] being abused, or speculate on whether or not it will have a positive impact on software piracy,” said Cori Hartje, senior director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative, in an e-mail interview with ChannelWeb.

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