Thursday 4 July 2013

Pirated software - why would you?

There's really no excuse for using pirated software, there really isn't.

Firstly it's just illegal. The person who gives it to you, or worse still sells it to you, and you, the person who knowingly installs it, are all stealing. You can have the software seized, perhaps even the computer as well and be prosecuted. It's not worth the risk.

It's not even necessary.

Image c/o Incredible Connection
Let's take an example. Microsoft Office. Everyone thinks it's hugely expensive but it's not really. Incredible Connection in South Africa advertises Microsoft Office Home And Student 2010 for R999.95. That might seem steep but look what you actually get: "For use on 3 PCs in 1 household".

You can install Microsoft Office on your laptop, the computer at home and your brother or sister's laptop for R333 each. For that you'll get all the free software updates Microsoft allow and your software will actually work, unlike most pirated versions that will disable themselves eventually.

Image c/o Wikipedia
However, even if you can't afford that, why steal it? There are perfectly legal free alternatives instead.

LibreOffice for instance includes almost everything that Microsoft Office has but at zero cost. I've used LibreOffice as an experiment and while it isn't quite as slick as Microsoft's suite, it's not far off. It includes word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database and graphics tools, just like Microsoft Office.

It's not just the conventional software that you can get either. There's even a free equivalent to Microsoft Project called ProjectLibre which I've used as well. Again it's not quite as advanced as Microsoft's equivalent but it's more than good enough.

And it's all free. And it's legal. And it works.

So why waste your time and money stealing pirated software when you can be legit and honest?

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