THE recent efforts in curbing piracy in Brunei has given back the confidence to Microsoft in distributing genuine software in the Sultanate as the tech giant is preparing to launch several major products in the coming months.
Azizah Ali, Microsoft Brunei's Branch Manager said the company is pleased with the positive events that have occurred in Brunei earlier this year, indicating progress for the Microsoft-Brunei partnership.
With a number of major products soon to be released by Microsoft this year such as the highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system and the latest Microsoft Office suite, Azizah said that the positive change in Brunei would encourage better distribution of genuine Microsoft products in the Brunei market.
She said that the software piracy sweep following an international directive as well as the establishment of Brunei's own Patent Registry Office earlier this year has given the confidence back to the software giant, which has been actively battling piracy and supporting the protection of intellectual property in Brunei in recent years.
"We believe that Brunei has achieved a major milestone this year. The launch of the Patent Registry Office and its activities in driving to increase the awareness, and also the crackdown by the municipalities on piracy nationwide is actually great for the country as well as Microsoft," said Azizah.
The crackdown, which took effect in May 24, resulted in many vendors shifting away from distributing pirated software to original content as well as shutting down vendors that failed to comply with the new ruling.
"We see the sustainability to it. It's no longer just one time sweep and rebound as was always the case in the past. There's definitely progress," she added.
She said that Microsoft is looking forward to a successful worldwide launch of Windows 8 operating system this October 26.
The firm, which has set up office in Brunei just a few years ago during a time when piracy reigned supreme in the Sultanate, has been synonymous with its active support in the country's anti-piracy drive and intellectual property rights (IPR) as well as the promotion of genuine products for local consumers.
Microsoft is also currently working to get PC retailers nationwide to be certified as a genuine Microsoft Software Retailer, an initiative which began earlier this year aimed at recognising local retailers which duly promote and support genuine products under the Microsoft brand.
"Our partners have also been our drivers and contributors for this cause. They have been getting enquiries from their customers on software legitimacy, there's an indication that consumers in Brunei are picking up interest in genuine software, said Shirley Leong, Microsoft's Partner Manager.
Sales of genuine Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office have been positive in the second quarter of 2012, with retailers such as Concepts Computers experiencing strong sales of Office Home and Student 2012 suites in April.
Concepts became the first retailer in Brunei to be qualified for the Microsoft certification after the store was given the thumbs-up by Microsoft for promoting only genuine products to its customers and actively educating its customers on the authenticity of the products.
With Windows 8 already reaching Release to Manufacturing (RTM) status, the firm is now hard at work in building the awareness and readiness amongst the local retailers through its Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), in hopes to achieve greater adoption of Windows 8 among consumers and organisations in Brunei.
Leong also pointed the end of life for Windows XP, which will see its expiration in 2014.
"We will eventually send out emails to all organisations to inform them that we're phasing XP out and discontinuing support, and we encourage them to get onto the latest Windows operating system," she said.The Brunei Times
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
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