Russia revealed as one of the biggest pirates of Microsoft software

Microsoft revealed this week that 25% of Russian software outlets sell pirated Microsoft software.

The findings were published as part of a survey the software giant carried out recently. According to The Associated Press, Microsoft checked 2,500 retailers in 53 Russian cities over the last few months and found a quarter offered bootlegged copies of popular Microsoft programs. The survey, named "The Mysterious Customer," also highlighted that 11% of the retailers offered to install the software onto customers' computers.

"A few years ago most computer stores in some form or other offered pirate software," said Denis Guz, head of the company's department that promotes the sale of licensed software. "Now, as we see, there are significantly fewer sales points of that kind ... and now the majority of retailers offer only licensed programs."

In an email to Neowin, Guz explained "we are seeing some significant improvements in the recent years due to combined efforts of Russian government, rightholders’ associations and software vendors." He also added "the situation is not uniform across all geographies of Russian Federation."

Russian site Ria Novosti reports that Uri Zlobin, the head of the anti-piracy association "The Russian Shield" disputed the results of the survey. According to Zlobin, only 10% of computer retailers in Moscow sell licensed software so the situation could be a lot worse.

Although Russia were part of the survey, Central Siberia and the Far East were the worst offenders with up to 71% of retailers offering pirated software, Microsoft said. It is estimated that piracy cost the software industry $53 billion in 2008.

Image Credit: Deviant Art - Luke Roberts

Update: Title corrected as it appears Russia are one of the biggest and not the biggest.

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42 Comments

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You do know that Russians are the biggest in terms of final releases on movies before actual releases and that they are also if not the top for cracked softwares and such? Kind of makes you think what the rest of the 1st world countries do these days besides dumbing themselves down in some way or another (no offense attended).

DanielZ said,
Makes me proud to be a Russian <3

I'm assuming because Russian Piracy has apparently gone done according to this study?

I hate when reports list piracy as costing a company something. There is no evidence that suggest people would buy their software at legal license rates. Poppycock.

nubs said,
I hate when reports list piracy as costing a company something. There is no evidence that suggest people would buy their software at legal license rates. Poppycock.
/No/ evidence? Really? What else would they run on their machine? (No, don't say Linux - it might account for some, but not all).

Kirkburn said,
/No/ evidence? Really? What else would they run on their machine? (No, don't say Linux - it might account for some, but not all).

+1

Kirkburn said,
/No/ evidence? Really? What else would they run on their machine? (No, don't say Linux - it might account for some, but not all).

No, there is /No/ evidence. If Windows was not pirate-able, it would have never become the dominant OS in Russia and most other countries in the world in the first place, and even Microsoft has acknowledged that. Educate yourself before talking.

Edited by mikeyx12, Feb 13 2010, 5:58am :

Goes to show once again that file sharing is not pirating. I'm all for file sharing but not pirating. Unless I can be Captain Jack Sparrow, then I will be a pirate. aye hoi hoi

este, what is there a new Russia, I thought the Soviet Russia fell back in 89-90, but then again I could be wrong. . .not.

Pam14160 said,
este, what is there a new Russia, I thought the Soviet Russia fell back in 89-90, but then again I could be wrong. . .not.

Really? You have never heard the "In Soviet Russia" meme before?

Yakov is very disappointed in you.

Yep. Thank God all those software developers, researchers, and marketers work for free so it doesn't cost anything to produce, hence there are no losses when it is stolen.

Wait a minute...

Xilo said,
It doesn't cost them anything because no physical goods were actually stolen.

When those users visit Win update It will will increace usage of the service so MS have to provide extra capacity.

It is talking about piracy of software retailers. What about enterprise sales? There is a huge industry sector in Russia and most clients are running Microsoft operating systems. Putting numbers out there without something to contrast with make it data, not information.

I thought it was Egypt ? It is really hard to find any sort of software legal or genuine here, or even to buy online even if you have all the cash

kInG aLeXo said,
I thought it was Egypt ? It is really hard to find any sort of software legal or genuine here, or even to buy online even if you have all the cash

+1 :D

Chrono951 said,
I would have picked China, but Russia isn't that big of a surprise.

same. when i was living in china, most street shops were/are selling pirated windows software.

saxondale. said,

same. when i was living in china, most street shops were/are selling pirated windows software.

No one has done a survey like this in China, and I doubt the Chinese would willingly allow it, so Russia gets blamed as being the worst. China's population is far greater than Russia's, China has got to be #1, only no survey or study has proven it yet.

Northgrove said,
Shocking! Hehe, or not. ;)

Nothing shocking. MS has got a very poor pricing policy in Russia and China.
Windows 7 Ultimate retail cost $250-270 ID in average in USA. In Russia it's $530 - $630 ID in average.

I like that picture. I have legit copies of Windows running on all my 4 computers, but would still love to have that as a wallpaper.

ccoltmanm said,
I like that picture. I have legit copies of Windows running on all my 4 computers, but would still love to have that as a wallpaper.

The wallpaper is linked at the bottom of the post :)

Yeah this doesn't surprise me to be honest. They're notorious for their piracy. I honestly think thats an exagerated number though. $53 billion is rediculous. The way I always see it is 90% of the people wouldn't have gone out and bought Windows software anyways if they're pirating it.

RedFlow said,
The way I always see it is 90% of the people wouldn't have gone out and bought Windows software anyways if they're pirating it.
This is why people should thank software pirates. If it weren't for internet piracy, everyone and their dogs would still be using Windows 98 in 2010, instead of XP in 2010.

RedFlow said,
Yeah this doesn't surprise me to be honest. They're notorious for their piracy. I honestly think thats an exagerated number though. $53 billion is rediculous. The way I always see it is 90% of the people wouldn't have gone out and bought Windows software anyways if they're pirating it.

The KGB needs to back Linux instead of supporting Windows piracy which gives MS marketshare.

bdsams said,
53 Billion is a lot of money
They wouldn't have chosen a number that you didn't think was a lot of money. duh...

cabron said,
That's does not surprise me at all, Russians have the biggest sites to download pirated software in the planet.

And they have the biggest landmass too. :)

"It is estimated that piracy cost the software industry $53 billion in 2008."

This is industry costs worldwide...it's not just how much Microsoft alone lost in Russia due to piracy.