Microsoft Pins Multimillion Losses on Philippines Software Pirates
Article by George Norman
On 23 Oct 2008
When the software products you produce achieve such a massive market penetration as Microsoft’s, and when licensed versions of said products cost a pretty penny, then it is normal to expect high piracy rates. It comes with the territory! Since there is a monetary crisis going on, Microsoft has been more than eager to point out that software pirates cause the Redmond company loses that exceed the hundred millions mark. In times like these PC users with limited funding turn to the most cost effective means of acquiring software – pirated software. The simple fact of the matter is that the rate of software piracy increases the further East you go. Microsoft has already targeted China with its 20th of October WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) and OGA (Office Genuine Advantage), and now it has its sights set on the Philippines. According to Rafael Rollan, managing director of Microsoft Philippines, the company that he works for has lost an estimated $147 million in revenues last year. This translates into a damaging effect not only on the economy, but also on the country’s stride to become competitive on a global level. Potential investors that want to put their money in the Philippines are also put off by this phenomenon. The Fifth Annual Business Software Alliance and International Data Corp Global Software Piracy Study revealed that the majority of systems in the Philippines run on pirated software – about 69% in 2007. All the money that was lost, all the hundred of millions that Microsoft did not cash in, could have been put to better use, such as “creating jobs or feeding the hungry poor”, says Rafael Rollan. Apple, a long time Microsoft competitor, has on the other hand reported good profits for the Q3 of 2008. Its revenues, which reached $7.9 billion, were mainly boosted by massive iPhone sale. Its profits have also increased, from $904 million in 2007 to $1.1 billion this year. It goes to show you that when you have a product that is in massive demand, not even an economic crisis can affect you.

Tags: Microsoft, Software Pirates
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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