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Microsoft seeks to curb software piracy in Africa

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Tech giant Microsoft has launched a programme dubbed Windows PC Affordability in Africa Initiative that aims to reduce the piracy of its software in the continent.

Through the initiative, the multinational is working with partners — Acer, Asus, Dell, Intel, Lenovo, SMD Technologies and Mustek — to improve the uptake and affordability of genuine software.

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Trade Group Software Alliance in its 2018 report stated that software piracy prevalence across the Middle East and Africa was at 56 per cent, with several countries carrying some of the highest rates in the world.

The report placed the use of pirated Microsoft software usage at 90 per cent and 89 per cent in Libya and Zimbabwe, respectively.

“As per our estimates, only a third of PCs (personal computers) being shipped into Africa include genuine software,” Deniz Ozen, a regional sales executive at Microsoft, said in a statement.

“Because of this, data breaches and malware attacks have increased significantly, resulting in loss of important data and decreased productivity.”

Microsoft said 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 the initiative.

“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,” Dave Brooke, an executive at Dell Technologies, said in a statement.

“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.”

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