According to the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, software sales in the USA are 95% higher than those in China, despite the two countries sharing comparable PC sales. He argues that, “if you can afford a PC, you can afford the software to run it on.”
Other countries with known widespread piracy such as India did not share this high discrepancy between sales and Microsoft’s revenue, and Ballmer was quick to point this out. He claimed that if Chinese IP protection were stronger than currently, the Chinese software market would be worth billions of dollars.
The Business Software Alliance, an industry lobby group, has some interesting figures to fuel Ballmer’s comments:
- Four of five software programs installed on PCs are pirated
- This amounts to “commercial theft” of close to $8 billion a year
- Piracy in 2010 cost the software industry $59 billion in revenue
Source: PC World