Tue, 26 Sep 2000

More people buying originals: Microsoft

JAKARTA (JP): PT Microsoft Indonesia said on Monday it expected sales of its software to increase 30 percent this year as more local consumers purchased original products.

"Finally, good people are buying original products," company president Richard Kartawijaya said.

Richard, however, declined to provide details of the company's sales figures for 1999 or the projected sales figures for this year.

He did note the company's sales could double this year if "piracy is eliminated".

About 85 percent of Microsoft's products, mostly business applications such as Windows 2000 or Windows Office, available on the domestic market are pirated, he said.

"Other software producers face the same problem with this piracy, and we can do nothing to stop it, except to hope the pirates realize they are wrong," Richard said during a ceremony to launch Microsoft's latest product, Windows Millennium Edition, which also is known as Windows Me.

International antipiracy groups Business Software Alliance and the Software and Information Industry Association announced last year the global software industry lost US$ 11 billion as a result of piracy in 1998.

Both organizations said Indonesia was among the countries with the highest piracy rates.

Ninety-two percent of business software applications in Indonesia and Russia were pirated, while in Vietnam the figure was 97 percent and in China 95 percent, the study by both organizations revealed.

Richard said Windows Me, which is designed for PC users, contained some new facilities not available on Windows 98, including the Media Player, Movie Maker and Restore System.

Windows Me was launched on Sept. 14 in the United States.

Richard said Windows Me would be available on the market in two versions -- the full package version and an upgrade version.

The full package version, which is designed for consumers who do not have any Windows products installed on their computers, costs $209.

The upgrade version, which is for buyers who have installed either Windows 95 and Windows 98, costs $109.

Richard said Microsoft would provide a 50 percent discount for those customers who purchased the upgrade version before January next year.

According to Richard, the PC accounts for between 30 percent and 40 percent of all computers used in the country. (02)