Microsoft steps up efforts to fight software piracy
Microsoft yesterday launched the Windows PC Affordability in Africa Initiative, which is aimed at reducing the prevalence of Microsoft software piracy in Africa’s emerging markets.
To give life to the initiative, Microsoft is working with its partner ecosystem that includes Acer, Asus, Dell, Intel, Lenovo, SMD Technologies and Mustek to provide Windows devices that have preinstalled genuine software.
Microsoft’s VP for consumer and device sales Bradley Hopkinson says through the initiative, Microsoft aims to educate consumers on the risks of using pirated software, and to work with its PC ecosystem partners to make genuine Windows 10 PCs more affordable across Africa.
Pirated software is often installed without the end user’s knowledge, and it is those users who suffer the consequences including lost data and unusable PCs, according to the software giant.
“Providing consumers with an enhanced, authentic experience using genuine software, and in so doing, creating awareness around the topic at hand encompasses two key objectives of this initiative. Africa’s emerging market potential is unparalleled and business development and the growth of existing SME’s remains a key focus across the continent.
“To tap into this potential growth, access to affordable genuine software and hardware is necessary if the digital divide is to be closed.”
Referencing The Software Alliance report, Microsoft notes the overall rate of pirated software across the Middle East and Africa was 56% last year. Furthermore, the region also has several countries that rate as the highest users of unlicensed software, with Libya and Zimbabwe tipping the scale at 90% and 89% respectively.
Deniz Ozen, regional GM for consumer and device sales at Microsoft Middle East & Africa, says the company estimates that only a third of PCs being shipped into Africa include genuine software.
“Because of this, data breaches and malware attacks have increased significantly, resulting in loss of important data and decreased productivity.”
Commenting on the initiative, Dave Brooke, VP for client solutions group at Dell Technologies, says: "It's easy to take devices for granted in the digital revolution. But without people, there is no revolution and without the right devices, they can't participate in it.
“The Windows PC Affordability in Africa Initiative can help close the digital divide and put that power into the hands of those whose lives will be transformed the most.”