Pakistani shops in protest against Microsoft

I had gone to Islamabad’s Blue Area today to buy a new power supply for my PC and was surprised to find a number of shops displaying signs such as this one. This sign says:

we strongly protest against Microsoft’s abuses

Though I can’t find much info on what this could be in response to, it is likely that Microsoft, through the Business Software Alliance (BSA), has been aggressive in going after businesses and individuals that use its software without purchasing a license.

Given that most Pakistanis are used to buying all the software they require for almost the price of a blank CD, this must be hitting the PC market pretty hard. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t find a decent PSU and there wasn’t much of other gadgets and accessories either.

If software licensing really is being strictly enforced now, it may look like the end to cheap computers technology in Pakistan, but I see it as a positive sign. Only today, a chartered accountant friend of mine was curious about installing Ubuntu just to try it out and have a second operating system around.

Though a growing number of students these days have some level of passion and respect for Linux and open source, now is probably the time for average Pakistanis to realize the true value of these as alternatives to more traditional software.

7 thoughts on “Pakistani shops in protest against Microsoft

  1. Microsoft is doing it because they want money. Why else? They’ve stepped up their raids recently so it isn’t an old story.

  2. Ubuntu rocks! 🙂 Open source is the way to go for Pakistan. Firstly its free, secondly we have awesome coding talent to modify any open source software to our requirements, and our contributions to FOSS will enhance Pakistan’s current battered image as a backward state. Who knows, Pakistan could be the leading provider of open source applications if we were to build a strong open source community at our universities!

  3. Children’s RightsHuman brain is more then a supercomputer and biological organism. It is the prison box of soul ( matter ) to drive thoughts, hopes, dreams and imagination for human kind. The spongy three pound mass of fatty tissue is the miracle of supreme being when we struggle to boil it at lukewarm temperature of wisdom to understand fundamental of life. Brain plasticity is driven by neurons which is simply electricity or gravity for psych, memories controlled by exercise. Brain health is one of the most urgent health problem of the twenty first century in the world. Neurological illnesses affect more than 110 million in America and cost is estimated about $ 490 Billion dollars annual expense for disorders such as Alzheimer, sleep, hearing, depression, stroke, head injuries, multip

  4. Err… what was that about the human brain? Anyway yeah i recently went to buy a wireless router in Pindi and the shopkeepers were like “don’t install windows, Microsoft may come and get us”… It was hilarious!

  5. ‘Given that most Pakistanis are used to buying all…….’. It’s not ‘most’. It’s all of them. I don’t know a single Pakistani whose not using pirated windows, except the companies, of course, though I’m not sure if all the companies use the genuine version.There’s this conspiracey theory that all the top dog software companies subtly encourage the piracy of their products in the Third World Countries to produce cheap labor to develop, maintain and run their software.

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