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Microsoft launches new product in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – Software maker Microsoft Corporation has introduced into the market a discounted promotional software – Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student for Africa – targeting its expansive customer portfolio.

The release follows feedback from customers and partners to design a product suitable for the African consumer.

Retailing at Sh3,999, the software can be installed on three computers , this compared to the standard Microsoft Office license that lets you install the software on one computer plus a portable device for use by a single person.
Commenting on the introduction of the new product into the market, Microsoft East and Southern Africa General Manager Louis Otieno said Microsoft was committed to ensuring everyone had access to genuine software and the skills needed to achieve their potential at an affordable price.

He emphasised that genuine software includes many features and enhancements that help to improve security and helps protect your computer from viruses and other malicious software as well as an improved automatic document recovery tool in cases of system failure.

“This means that documents are safe from hackers who may want to collect private data. With the advent of online banking and other forms of payment through e-commerce, it pays to operate on a secure platform with built-in malware, firewall and online updates direct to your PC especially when banking from home or ordering goods and services online like courses and holidays,” Mr Otieno said.

The introduction of the lowly priced software could also be one way of discouraging rising cases of software piracy that has cost the corporation huge losses. Statistics from the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicate that Piracy of software on personal computers (PC) in Africa stands at 80 percent with industry losses, due to software piracy, in Africa estimated at over $95 million (Sh7.3 billion).

Robert Allela from Comztech, a Microsoft distribution partner said that with the recent Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) explosion in the country and landing of the fibre optic cable, Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007 product launch was overdue.

“Microsoft had come to the distributors’ aid in driving up the sale of genuine software in the country.Now everyone who desires the benefits of genuine software can afford to with the new Microsoft Office Home & Student for Africa,” said Allela.

An IDC study indicates that Kenya’s IT sector will generate more than 4,000 new jobs by 2011 and account for the creation of more than 100 new IT companies. According to the study, over the next four years, Kenya’s IT industry will drive Sh2.7 billion in new tax revenues and contribute new revenues of Sh7.7 billion to GDP.

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