The world is slowly recovering from the WannaCrypt ransomware attack which started at the end of last week. Windows 10 users were never affected, and Windows 7 users who regularly installed patched were not either.
There are however a group of Windows users who remain vulnerable, who can not even patch their PCs if they wanted to.
Those who pirate Windows are not able to install updates, and they have also been hardest hit by the attack.
F-Secure reports that Russia and China, who have a Windows piracy rate of 70% and 64% respectively, were the worst affected. India, with a piracy rate of 58%, was not far behind. China had more than 40,000 stricken computers, not just at home, but also at police stations and giant companies like PetroChina.
With such high rates of piracy by the world’s largest populations, it is not unreasonable to suggest that it is piracy and not the love of Windows 7 which is limiting the spread of Windows 10. When the OS was introduced for free in 2015, it was suggested that Microsoft may offer amnesty to users using pirated software and allow them to upgrade to a legal version of Windows 10. This never happened.
Windows 10 is of course no longer free, but high-profile attacks on older versions of Windows does have a negative impact on the reputation of the OS. A large installed base of older version of Windows prevents Microsoft from taking advantage of new platforms like UWP, limits the spread, usage and support of Cortana and the Windows Store and reduces Microsoft’s influence on the computing world.
We wonder if it’s not time for Microsoft to think again, possibly with a version of the OS with a different business model.
Do our readers agree? Let us know below.