It is easy to see why Ubuntu & Co. does no good. If something is given away for free, the general perception is that the product is crap. If a Microsoft operating system was offered at half the regular price, more people would buy it than would download Ubuntu or PC Linux. For some, obtaining a cracked version of a Microsoft operating system would be better. So, when some people download a Microsoft operating system from a torrent, they think of it as getting a valued product for free. The laughable part is the Windows 7 RC is available through kosher channels for FREE. Almost anybody can get it. Of course, there is an element of ‘value added’ to stuff that comes down through a torrent. Free admission to a botnet is often included too.

This happened with Apple’s iWorks 09. Open Office 3.0 is as free for Mac’s as it is PC’s, but pirating iWorks was a far better prize. It has happened now with Windows 7. Much of the stuff available on torrents and P2P is probably ok, but the newest and most desirable may contain more that you bargain for. Being part of a botnet is not fun. We can all be affected, but whoever controls them will get your passwords and bank details before they get mine.

Nothing is free unless the original owner says that it is free. The price paid for overriding the owners rule could land you with a larger payback than the cost of whatever it is you have ‘taken’. Re Windows 7 RC, if you ask nicely, you will receive, and there is no compulsory membership to a botnet in the small print. There is a time limitation but hey, you get to use the latest Microsoft operating system for free until June 2010. Not too bad for a company that is trashed by many for being money grabbers..