Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Microsoft East Africa announced a 40 percent reduction in cost of its home and student office suite amid complaints of rampant software piracy in the Kenya. The price is only applicable to Africa and other emerging markets, according the article. The article also explains that last year, officials from the Kenya Copyright Board and Microsoft raided cyber cafés in Nairobi and other rural areas, demanding payment of license fees to avoid prosecution for using pirated software, which pushed many cafés out of business. The actions of Microsoft are no doubt borne out of frustration, but also the realisation that as Africa's demand for software technology grows they need to adapt to secure long term brand strength for their legitimate goods. Changing a culture of piracy is an uphill struggle. On the other hand the cost of Microsoft's software can be a major barrier to development in African countries as illustrated by the demise of the cyber cafés.