I think app made a good point, autocad really took advantage of the piracy issue. My father is a civil engeneer, and he described me what happened at the time. The truth is that there were superior products to autocad, but everyone started using autocad because everyone had the pirated version.
I think that this issue is not easy to address. I think there's no wonderful, perfect solution for this problem.
Stilll, it's always around the pricing of the product.
I'm more into games, so, i'll give that example.
I've played games for a few years now, and never bought one single original game. Why? Because i usually am broke
But, about 3 years ago, i started playing counter-strike, using a friend's key, and i decided to buy a key for myself, so that i could play it against him and a bunch of other friends. I bought it because the game is very good, well stuctured, well mantained, and specially because it was cheap. It costed me 15€ at the time (it's now available for something like 8€, i think). And the truth is that it's (or at least, it was at the time), the most played online game.
Another important issue is that i could and did play it offline, and in bad servers (which take a lot of the good part of the game), through pirated solutions.
Right now, the same company that made counter-strike, valve, created a new game, half-live2. They have adopted another great system again. You can download the game in parts, and pay each part at a time. This means that you can play only the first chapter at a low price, and if you feel like you like the game, buy the second one for a few € more, and so on.
I consider this very fair to the costumer. Because this way, the user is sure that the game's quality will be mantained, and that some creativity will be introduced.
For me, it wouldn't make any sense to buy any game since, the truth is that i never ended one single game. I never found any game that appeals to me enough for me to play it to the end.
I think a good solution for programs like photoshop would be to have a "light" version that would be usable, but not powerful enough to be used by professionals.
But if we see things from another angle, that's what already happens right now. We have the pricey photoshop and the light version, "the gimp".
Hrm, afaik you won't be able to use the web-based windows update though, nor download the "genuine windows required" stuff from their site. Dunno if the various activation cracks solve that, I've got a valid key
I also have a valid key, but what you mentioned is not quite true, the "genuine windows required" can be solved, it just takes a bit of work