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Ross: If Microsoft ever collapses, pirates will save us all

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

A few weeks ago, I said farewell to my little dancing desktop robot Jibo.

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Yeah, he would even purr! But when the company that made Jibo went belly-up, Jibo’s brain disappeared with it.

That got me thinking: What if a much bigger computer company on which we all depend went bankrupt one day. Like say, Microsoft?

There was a discussion about just this possibility on Quora, and it included predictions that “turmoil” would break out, as Windows systems crashed due to accumulated bugs, and that cloud data would simply disappear, just like poor Jibo’s brain.

But then there was this response from Michael Daniel, a self-described old-school hardware hacker and prolific Quora contributor, who noted that “if Microsoft collapsed with no advance warning, the immediate impact wouldn’t be very significant.”

And the reason, he said, is that once Microsoft stopped enforcing its copyrights, piracy would take over, and as old computers broke down, you could just steal the most recent version of Windows and install it in your new computer for free!

Eventually we might all have to migrate to iOS or Linux. Apple, Google, and Amazon could absorb the cloud business, like solvent banks absorb failed banks. But the pirates would keep us going in the meantime.

So the next time you ponder the possibility of a software apocalypse, relax: Michael says the pirates have your back (along with your credit data and every movie ever made).

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