Microsoft starts functioning in Pakistan
KARACHI- Microsoft, the world software giant, formally launched its operations in Pakistan by opening its office in Karachi. Microsoft’s regional General Manager, Bahram Mohazzebi said, Microsoft was keen to help contribute to building this vibrant local IT industry. “We are very proud to announce that our Pakistan office is officially open for business and we have embarked on a long-term commitment to help develop Pakistan’s IT industry.” But Mohazzebi told journalists that company’s major concern was the proper enforcement of intellectual property rights. “Our future investment plan depends on the response from the market on this issue. If the response is not encouraging we may not proceed with our investment plans,” Mohazzebi said.
He said recently Business Software Alliance, voice of the world’s leading software developers has carried out enforcements activity against shops selling illegal software. “We expect more such raids by the government but so far response has not been encouraging,” he said. He further said that in Pakistan there was over 90 percent piracy as far as the use of various softwares was concerned. When Microsoft entered the Gulf States a few years ago, the piracy rate was about 100 percent, but now their governments had controlled it and now it was about 45 to 50 percent there.
Last summer, Microsoft linked a $150 million agreement with the government of Punjab to set up 50 training centres called Authorized Academic Training Centres with the cooperation of educational institutions. He said the company had signed deals with some leading institutions and banks in Pakistan, which incorporate Microsoft technology into their long-term business models to help them increase their productivity and reduce their overall costs. He said if intellectual property laws were properly enforced more training centres would be established. ” We are discussing further expansion of the programme to Sindh and other provinces of Pakistan,” he added.
Microsoft Business Development Manager Kamran Iqbal said that the company was determined to contribute to the growth and development of a thriving local industry. Mentioning the key focus areas, Kamran said that a strong sales and support model would be built in Pakistan.
Source: Dawn, Business Recorder