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Microsoft unveils African pack software solution in local languages
Technology Wednesday, January 18, 2012
By Emeka Aginam
The Software giant, Microsoft has announced the launch of Africa Pack, a suite of popular of the company's technologies and locally relevant content free to consumers across Africa who purchase or currently run a genuine version of Windows 7.
The new solution, according to Microsoft has been made available to Nigerian consumers through Hewlett Packard (HP) to distribute with new PCs that are pre-installed with, or bundled with locally attached, copies of genuine Windows from December last year through January 2012.
The suite available in both English and French, the software giant said also includes local language interface (LIP) packs for the continent's most widely spoken local languages including KiSwahili, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, and Amharic.
All the products in the Africa pack, according to Microsoft are already available free to consumers to download.
"By making these tools available offline, we're lowering the barrier to access and delivering a significant cost savings to African consumers," Hennie Loubser, General Manager of Microsoft West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, said, adding that , "The Africa Pack has the added benefit of delivering a localized experienced when using those tools, where the user interface is in the user's native language."
Access to enhancements and innovations in the Africa Pack, according to Loubser, is just one of the benefits of purchasing genuine versions of Microsoft software.
"Customers get the most value for their money - the highest quality experience and the best protection when they buy genuine." Loubser, added.
Speaking on the promo run, Adimogo Isiakpona, Marketing Manager, PSG, Hewlett Packard Nigeria said, "We are happy to partner with Microsoft, this festive period, to reward our loyal customers for their patronage".
Microsoft will distribute an initial 10,000 copies of its Africa Pack to managed partners and distributors across West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, and additional copies within the region in coming months.
Meanwhile, the high cost of bandwidth and limited access to internet makes it difficult for many consumers in Africa to download them easily. In a sample of countries in West, East, and Central Africa for example, the commercial value of an antivirus software is $30 per PC per year; the cost of downloading this one application via the Internet ranges from $25-$40 in bandwidth costs.
The first edition of the Microsoft Africa Pack includes:
*Microsoft Security Essentials - award-winning anti-virus solution that provides real-time protection for your PC; detects, blocks, and removes viruses, spyware, trojans, rootkits, bots, worms, and other malicious software.
*Windows Live Essentials - allows you to do more with Windows on your PC with programs for photos, movies, instant messaging, email, social networking and more.
*Africa Theme Pack – desktop wallpapers and themes to customize your PC.
*Local Language Interface Packs (LlP) for KiSwahili, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, and Amharic add a language layer to Windows and provide a roughly 80 percent localized experience by presenting the user interface - commands, dialogue boxes and more - in the user's native language.
*Internet Explorer 9 - the latest version of Microsoft's popular browser for a fast, clean and trusted browsing experience.
*Windows 7 Service Pack 1 – an important update that includes previously released security, performance, and stability updates for Windows 7.
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