Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Free, paid, pirated

A day in the life of the internet.

Chris Anderson launched a book 'Free' recently - which has to be bought, of course.


(all of them worth a read)

As I read through these, a question came to my mind on a conversation I recently had with a Mac user in India. If it were not for piracy (well, almost free) would (see comment here) Microsoft still dominate the market as it does today? Assembled computers, pirated software have all played an (unacknowledged?) part in Indias (half) tech revolution. And many of those early pirate users have invested in the original. And India remains a largely untapped market for Mac.

Question: If it were not for rampant piracy of Microsoft in the 90s, would Microsoft still rule India? The difference in architecture is significant, but would India have been Linux country if there were "no" piracy? (Questions about Google cloud notwithstanding. Yes, Linux exists, but it is still far from significant.)

1 comment:

Saravan said...

Even without piracy, Linux would have not won the desktop market. When computers usage started developing in India, Linux desktop sucked. Getting drivers and starting X Windows was painful. Windows just worked. Consumers who buy computer from assemblers buy whole product, not hardware. If there is no piracy, then it might have eaten into margins of computer assemblers.

Mac is a niche market. You can buy 2 PCs for the price of a single mac. PCs will beat Macs hands down cost wise. For the basic stuff, both of them doesn't have big difference.

With respect to newspapers, I have to quote the following statement from the NYT article


If the news is that important, it will find me.


Nothing can explain more about news business than the above quote.

Also read Clay Shirky's article about Journalism and newspapers
http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/03/newspapers-and-thinking-the-unthinkable/