Pirated Windows Vista may be worth-LESS

I saw an article in the LA Times this morning reporting that counterfeit copies of Windows Vista are being seen in big cities in Latin America such as Mexico City and Sao Paulo and for very cheap. While we're not terribly surprised at this, nor would I expect many readers of this blog to be surprised, I did hear an interesting tid-bit from a friend about the current price of a counterfeit copy of Windows Vista. A colleague and friend of mine was travelling in Brazil recently and during her trip she took a few minutes to see what software was easily available on the streets of Sao Paulo. While Windows Vista was among the counterfeits available it was cheaper (about $5 vs $10 for other software titles) because the vendor said it 'might expire'. While learning that a counterfeit copy of your product is suddenly cheaper than before might not obviously be a good thing in this case I think it is. The fact that the value of a counterfeit copy is dropping is a sign that the product is harder to counterfeit (if it were easier to hack there should have been a non-expiring version available) and while other common applications that are less difficult to hack (and so have at least the similar basic distribution costs) still cost more is a sign that the product in its counterfeit state is truly worth-less.