Microsoft fights Russian pirates and earns billions

World's major software maker – Microsoft – summed up the results of its work in Russia in the financial year 2005-2006. The General Manager of the Russian division of the company, Birger Steen, said that the growing prices on the company’s products could be explained with piracy which impedes the sales of the corporation. The official said that the level of the computer piracy in Russia had been decreasing a lot faster during the recent years as opposed to other countries. The illicit copying of intellectual products has dropped by four percent in Russia this year (by ten percent since 2002). Microsoft believes that it is a positive trend which entails a possibility of intensive development in the future.

“Russian consumers and companies invest in the development of software. The level of piracy in Russia reduces faster than in other countries of the world,” Steen said. Last year the Russian authorities filed over 300 Microsoft-linked copyright cases. Microsoft’s specialists concluded that Russia would obtain over 33,000 new jobs and up to $1 billion of taxes in the event the government continues to struggle against piracy in the field of information technologies.

Birger Steen tried to explain why considerable achievements in the struggle against bootleg production shows no serious influence on the reduction of prices for the company’s basic products. “The price is one of the obstacles to distribute a product. As you know our prices stick to the world price level and have insignificant fluctuations. The situation is complicated with the fact that many Russians do not know when they have money,” Steen said.

Another positive trend on the Russian market as noticed by Microsoft is connected with the considerable increase of the number of organizations ready to invest serious funds in software developments. Oil company TNK-BP, coal enterprise Yakutugol, air giant Aeroflot, real estate company Best Real Estate and cellular giant Vimpelkom are one of the few Russian companies that evinced great interest in Microsoft’s products.

Corporate customers allowed Microsoft to increase software sales in Russia by the staggering 72 percent last year. The corporation sold over two million licensed copies of Windows in Russia. Microsoft’s global sales volume in 2006 made up $44.28 billion, which exceeded the sales volume of 2005 by 11 percent. The net profit of the giant reached $12.599 billion.

Microsoft is to premiere its new software products for Russian corporate customers in December. They particularly include Windows Vista, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007. The products will most likely be successful in Russia, whereas specialists predict serious problems for them in Europe. In July the European authorities demanded Microsoft should pay 280.5 million euros of fine when the company did not publish source codes of its software as it was previously decided in 2004.

Vremya Novostei

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov