Microsoft will be releasing a lower-priced version of their Windows XP operating system for Africa, this July. The system will work on cheaper machines and is designed for entry-level PC users in Africa. It will also have Africa-themed screensavers and background wallpaper among its features.
This is something I’ve been convinced software companies like Microsoft should’ve done a long time ago. Having one price for software worldwide is stupid, because what a person in a poor “third world” country can afford to pay for a piece of software is nowhere near what someone in the US or Western Europe can pay.
And I think that is one of the main reasons it’s almost impossible to apply copyright laws on software in these poorer countries, because people would rather go through the risk of buying pirated software than having to pay the expensive price of original software.
And who loses in the end? The software company.
I’m not too sure if this move isn’t already too late, but well, better late than never, I guess.
Still, the whole world is waiting for Windows Vista and what they are offering Africa is a stripped down version of old Windows XP. Not really the right approach. But well, for an entry level user, who can only afford cheaper, older, hardware, this should be good enough.
But the software companies should also think about the people who just a bit better off financially, and who want to buy the latest version of the software at a price that is reasonable for them.