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Here's a story from MSNBC [msnbc.com]:
Nov. 18 — Four of Microsoft’s seven business divisions lost money in the most recent quarter, according to financial statements the company filed last week. In the routine filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, the company also revealed Windows desktop profit margins were as high as nearly 86 percent.
As soon as I loaded XP, I thought to myself, "Self, thou must buy MS stock. For thou cannot take a copy of it home with thou....and thus, the pirates of software are doomed. Thy MS stock will go up with this protection."
If the salesperson, the low man on the totem pole, makes good money then the company he works for must make good money. If the company makes good money selling the product, the manufacture makes good money as well. Microsoft does well selling that product. :)
Thou shall sell MS stock immediately.
I suppose it was not too difficult to create the first XP cracked copies, knowing the fact (at least this is what some people said to me) that the XP copies sent to big companies don't have the activation code (to save time installing the software).