My idea of a solution to this issue might be a naive one, but it’s simple enough to work. Hear me out:
If someone contributes to Microsoft’s software development, such as in giving ideas or being very active in the community, but they are not in Microsoft, they could be given a complimentary copy of the software once it’s out.
Think about it:
- It costs nearly nothing to produce a copy of the software and give it to someone. Microsoft being the mass corporation that it is, could take that ‘financial hit’.
- It could boost morale for many in the community, so that they feel as if they are ‘part of the process’.
- It could somewhat reduce the pirating of Microsoft software in more ways than one.
Now, I’m not talking about the software that sells for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, but if I tell you something that could be cool to implement in Longhorn and it gets implemented, it could be quite cool to get a copy as show of gratitude.