Are you using genuine software on your PC? Probably not. Microsoft made a shocking revelation at the launch event of the Windows PC Affordability in Africa Initiative. An initiative aimed at providing affordable Windows products to reduce software piracy in emerging markets such as Africa.
The revelation came out when Deniz Ozen, Regional General Manager, Consumer and Device Sales, Microsoft Middle East & Africa, was talking about increase in malware attacks in the region.
He notes that “as per our estimates, only a third of PCs being shipped into Africa include genuine software”. Because of this, data breaches and malware attacks have increased significantly, resulting in loss of important data and decreased productivity,”
According to Microsoft, more than half of the devices shipped into the Middle East and Africa run pirated Windows software. With Africa, experiencing a higher percentage. To put it in context, two thirds of devices shipped and sold in Africa don’t run on genuine software.
Even when it comes to those who try to buy genuine products, Microsoft says the pirated software is often installed without the end users knowledge. Leaving these users to suffer the consequences, which include data loss and unusable PCs.
Microsoft discloses, its goal is to “empower people to do great things on a Windows PC”. The company however says “a pirated version of Windows puts both PCs and people’s data at risk“.
A report by The Software Alliance reveals the overall rate of pirated software across the Middle East and Africa is 56 percent. Libya and Zimbabwe rate as countries with the highest users of unlicensed software in the region.