Do you want to activate Windows while waiting for your ATM transaction to complete? Press Yes or No, please. Russia is one of the top worldwide markets for piracy, according to a report put together by the United States at the end of April 2007. Russia is joined in a ranking of countries with rampant piracy problems by China and Argentina, Chile, Egypt, India, Israel, Lebanon, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela on a top 12 of counterfeiting markets. A recent example illustrates just how severe the issue of Windows piracy is in Russia.
The images included towards the bottom of this article, courtesy of EnglishRussia, feature an ATM running a copy of Windows in desperate need of activation. Now this might be a situation that you could encounter in an isolated household, but not out in the open and in public view, right? Right, with the exception of Russia. In all fairness, the message only warns that the Windows copy has to be activated within seven days. It says nothing about piracy, and obviously, this does not come from the Windows Genuine Advantage.
Still, why would a legitimate banking business, running genuine software, permit an ATM to go wild and disrupt customer activity with Windows activation messages? Until proven otherwise, this picture shows only an allegedly pirated copy of the Microsoft operating system. But this case is not a first for the Russian market.
In mid April 2007, you have been able to read how pirated copies of Windows Vista and the Microsoft 2007 Office System are commercialized by street vendors in downtown Moscow. The situation is even more ridiculous when you take into consideration the fact that the Kremlin was located within a 1/3 mile radius of the vendor with counterfeit copies of software. Bootlegged DVDs with Windows Vista and Office 2007 come with a price tag of just $4, which is a bargain compared to the costs of genuine software.