Hard truths about software piracy

Microsoft, the US computer software giant, has firsthand experience of its products being pirated in China. Despite burgeoning demand for personal computers -- China imports between 500,000 and 700,000 a year -- the company's application programmes have bombed in the Chinese market. One pirated compact disk crammed with Microsoft programmes, with a price tag of a mere US $52 wins hands down over genuine programmes which normally sell for US $20,000.