Anti-virus boost for local SMEs


January 31, 2011 – Microsoft has announced that its free anti-virus software is now available to very Small and Medium Enterprises in the African continent – at no cost.

If your company has about 10PCs or less, you qualify for this.

According to the software giant, the security systems were made available following feedback from small businesses.

The security software is designed to ensure no interruptions in usage or long computer wait times, plus it is easy to

“Microsoft Security Essentials is powered by the same core malware protection engine that drives Microsoft’s enterprise solutions,” said Kevin Connolly, Windows Product Manager for Microsoft West, East, Central Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands.

“By making Microsoft Security Essentials available to small businesses with fewer than 10 PCs, we are extending our commitment to help these companies save money and grow their business with free online protection.”

Pirated software, however, represents a real threat to Africa’s consumers and businesses.

The Business Software Alliance’s seventh annual global software piracy study published earlier this year estimates that 82 percent of software in West, East and Central Africa is pirated.

“Counterfeit software is often vulnerable to computer viruses, malware and hackers, leaving consumers and businesses unprotected against data loss or identity theft,” said Robert Allela, Channel Manager, Comztek East Africa Limited. “With the increasing sophistication of software pirates and cyber criminals, cheap counterfeit technology can be more costly than it first appears.” 

Globally, SMEs employ 90% of the workforce and account for more than 50% of GDP. To help these engines of national growth perform, Microsoft has invested over $6.5billion in the SME market around the world, including Microsoft Security Essentials.