Microsoft Corp. expects software piracy, which costs the company billions of dollars every year, to ease with the introduction of its new Windows Vista operating system and Office 2007 software suite, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Thursday. Microsoft launched Windows Vista to businesses Thursday, releasing the first major upgrade in five years of its dominant operating system that sits on more than 90 percent the world's computers.
In an interview, Ballmer said that more than 20 percent of its software running around the world is pirated and the company aims to lower that figure with a new authentication program to run in Windows Vista and Office 2007. Last quarter, the Microsoft division dominated by Windows desktop sales accounted for $3.3 billion of $10.8 billion in total revenue.
"We're trying to make it easier for people who somehow have received improperly licensed versions to get legal, and we also put more roadblocks in," said Ballmer, declining to specify how much it can reduce the piracy rate. "It will help," he said.