Last paragraph is not for the faint of heart, you've been warned. Eric Ligman, the only person at Microsoft capable of explaining licensing, has posted about the NFR software and the few famous posts that we've drilled Microsoft over. He's in a firing mood, hopefully none of the PCM's get on his bad side today. To sum it up, he explains exactly what you're buying with the now infamous offer by Surplus Computers, which by the way still has SBS Premium available for $169. Eric breaks the offer down and explains what you're buying. Pretty entertaining read, even if you're not excited by Licensing. I do have a comment and a suggestion: Comment: It's not the Small Business Specialist going into the shop and selling SBS NFR to the customer. It's the customer hiring the Small Business Specialist to come and install SBS they purchased online. Illegal? You bet. But that Small Business Consultant has to eat. Will he starve for Bill Gates and walk away from the questionable (and illegal) software license, or will he turn the blind eye to how the software ended up in the customers hands and just finish configuring the network for the DIY business owner? Thats a bet for Microsoft to answer, considering the Surplus Computer still has this item on sale it appears clear that there may not be a punishment for this. Are you starting to see the problem with the NFR software now? Even if you are a bystander, everything you do and touch has a percieved value. Let's say you looked away as they installed $1,500 worth of software for $169. What do you think your chances are on upselling this client the time upgrade cycle comes around? Furthermore, what are your chances of collecting on the large job from that client when you already know they are a thief. Think they'll stop at taking money from Bill Gates? Ethics and integrity tend to disagree. Question: $150,000? What $150,000? The assumption that there is the $150,000 penalty for piracy is largely ignored by the business owner because there doesn't appear to be any punishment. Let me quote my college law professor:
"Law is only as valid as its enforcement." – Robert Emerson
If you don't enforce the piracy punishment, it becomes an acceptable practice. It is Microsoft's software, Microsoft's task to enforce. Partners should do their fair bit too, but partnership requires action on both sides. I've documented my actions and Microsoft has officially sued 30 companies. The people I reported? Still up and running. Vlad Advisory Services Bill, Steve.. this one is on me. How do we solve this problem? Well, Eric Ligman is famous for some very funny sites that help you show clients the value of Microsoft software, namely: lessthanfries.com and lessthancoffee.com. So whats our problem here Mr. Ligman? We don't have enough ways to show people that they might get punished for being pirates. Here are some of the names I would suggest for the piracy awareness campaign Microsoft should launch: wouldyoulikekywiththat.com – Show a pirate bent over in a prison cell. bitethepillownfrbitch.com – Same as the above. andyouthoughtSBSSP1wasbad.com – Same as the above but with a pimp smack. whosthebanditnow.com – I'm afraid of describing this one. andyouthoughtpassingaroundthevolumekeywasfun.com – Exceeds the domain size but its a fun line anyhow. Oh, double score! You get the idea. Give me a martyr, slap him on a postcard, and send me a stack of 50 to give away at the next group meeting. Seriously. Look at Microsoft Piracy center. It's such a happy nice page. Piracy isn't that bad is it? Now show me Bubba and Frank in a prison cell and a geek hiding his privates behind a NFR CD and I think most think twice before calling the activation center to get that 50th activation key for the Windows XP Pro they got at Market Pro for $60.
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