When Pirated OS / office and antivirus are accepted. Isnt this combination too dangerous ?

Hello Experts,
This new customer -we have discovered- loves to work with pirated versions of windows server and win 10 as well as Office.
this is a remote customer... according to him, 80% of small businesses do it in his country.

But to us its a burden we would like to avoid at least on the server.
Already noticed that some windows server 2012 features do not work like Windows + Pause.
What else may not work? we cant tell until problems arise.

Can you please give me real practical reasons for not using a pirated version?
Beyond... not receiving updates and being exposed to new viruses? and having symptoms we cant predict?
they responded me their pirate version does receive updates and they use an antivirus that is also pirated...

On the other hand, we are interested in this market
we already know there are more companies interested in our services...
so we don't want to lose this first customer...

What do you do when you get a customer like this?
Force him to buy originals while most of his peers use pirated versions for years?
I know its a cultural issue too... but we are not going into that topic

All we need is enough security to work on solid ground...
Your opinions are very important to us.
RGuillermoProject ManagerAsked:
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Iamthecreator OMIT Admin/EE Solution GuideCommented:
1: Its illegal and unethical
2: A big security risk as it can have trojans, malware and backdoors.
Need i say more?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
this is a remote customer... according to him, 80% of small businesses do it in his country.

You're located here, not there.  U.S. laws apply to you.

It is said:  "You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas."   How long do you think your productive relationship with Microsoft will last if they find out you are winking at software piracy?  Indeed, you have already exposed enough information here in your EE profile (your company logo, your location, your industry) that they may already know.

What will your other clients think when they find out you're cheerfully working with software pirates "but it's OK because they're in another country"?

Do the right thing, not the expedient thing.  The truth is hard; that it why it always stands up under stress.
RGuillermoProject ManagerAuthor Commented:
thank you, we are ok with our local portfolio,
no need to take the risks from the very beginning and abroad
I will be commenting your advice this morning
in our meeting...
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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Probably the best approach would be to introduce the fact that licensed software is much more and also point out that the end cost is very low considering the actual lifespan of an OS...XP was introduced in 2001 and still is going strong even without full support...take now the cost..around $150 lets say for 15 years = 150/15 --> $10  per year ...the cost of lost workhours due to a missing update could be devastating,
But...don't try to enforce..just put some pressure on this and try to handle it the soft way...at first try to replace some very old PCs/Servers ...just present a situation that would benefit from such a purchase and convince them to buy cheap refurbished ones WITH license...an OLD HP server i bought for my old company was only $200 and it was fine to handle some demanding task...the same goes for refurbished workstations....just make a presentation on much money they loose because the old PC takes x time for a task and the newer machine would complete the task in x/3..and on the side point out that usually it would cost peanuts to buy one with a License..
Step by step try to make such a change and when something happens that licensed machines outshined the ones without license just present it as the most important thing happened after the invention of fire...

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RGuillermoProject ManagerAuthor Commented:
We will follow your advice John, As plan -A- Than you.

if it plans -A- presents any challenge then our plan -B- is to include the originals without any additional charge
only for this time and mandatory include in the contract that they have to remain legal or we suspend services...

Since our customer already agreed on prices... we expect him to find the plan -B- really attractive...
But first, we will try plan -A- explaining.

Thanks to all Experts, we will do the correct thing. And quit if necessary... but not without a good fight.
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS SpecialistCommented:
John Tsioumpris, I am extremely surprised to see a systems engineer offering advice to a member of EE to ignore pirated software.  As was previously pointed out, it is illegal and unethical.  Unless a company wants to invite trouble with software developers, they need to remain compliant.  They especially can't begin servicing a client that they know to be out of compliance and who has no intention of becoming compliant.

I do realize that you are trying to strike a balance between keeping it legal and retaining a client, but I believe that it is unacceptable to give this kind of advice to a person seeking guidance on EE.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Jim i am afraid that you are a bit unfair to me..if i wanted to point to pirated software i would say ...just go for it ...np ...and i am pretty sure that given your level of expertise you know that there are solutions to all these issues...usually just a googling away.
I am afraid that i always try to do things in balance and lets face it my proposal is not pointing to anything illegal ...as a matter of fact i think i am doing my best to turn things to a legal side...i am just not doing everything in one go.
And lets examine 2 future scenarios ....one depending on my proposal...one on yours (kind of )
Lets start with yours...
  • The Author just pushes things to the end....he tells them  - the client - that unless they get everything legal they won't accept to go work along with them...he looses the contract...the clients find another company...they keep being illegal...they might get even better cracks ...legal software is never again on the table.
  • In my scenario the author gets the contract ..the client replaces some machines with machines carrying legal software...a disaster struck...machines with legal software get unharmed...machines with illegal software get a major hit...months of work is lost...thousands of workhours are lost...the client "gets it" that its in his/her interest to have legal software...the replacement starts...the client talks with others CEO of companies...he/she tells them the story...others CEO start thinking....out of blue we have legal software purchases...
SO what do you think...and lets it take the game on your side of the court...you work in a manufacturing company...how much are you willing to risk if something critical comes to your attention and you have only two options...either totally risk everything and maybe go out of business or fix it slowly and steadily without harm and keep everything humming along...
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS SpecialistCommented:
My apologies if you felt that I was trying to be unfair to you.  My point is that this company can suffer real harm from taking on a contract knowing that the customer is out of compliance.  At that point, they are effectively taking on part of the responsibility.  If MS audited their customer, and levied heavy penalties, I could see a good lawyer arguing that the tech company is either fully or partially responsible for the costs as they are the consultants they rely on.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
I couldn't agree more with you but think it as an opportunity to get legal software to a situation that right now has total denial...
Also keep this in your mind...your reality is different from my reality,author's reality and his client reality...
One key note that comes out of this discussion is that the author should take some kind of paper on his hands that has informed the client of the legal status of software and they full a knowledge that...
Last but not least , lets say that in the real world ....between white and black there are inifinite (not just 50 ...:)  )... shades of grey...
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