Government discusses software privacy with Microsoft

The use of illegal software is about 91 percent in Georgia by the latest estimation., 19 Aug 2014 - 16:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Government is cracking down on illegal computer software and looking to begin negotiations with American software company Microsoft to buy legal versions of Microsoft programs.

The Coordination Commission must assess the offers of licensed software companies and prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and in case of imminence, create a draft law to improve current legislation.

Governmental organisations will start buying licensed Microsoft products as soon as the agreement is reached.

Georgia is the world leader in selling pirated Microsoft products.

In 2011, American market research firm IDC studied the global market and concluded Georgia topped the world with a score of 93 in terms of usage of pirated Microsoft software. Armenia’s scored 89 while Azerbaijan scored 88.

About 130,000 personal computers were sold in Georgia annually and "almost all” were equipped with illegal versions of Microsoft programs.

In 2010 when Microsoft entered the Georgian market, the use of illegal software was about 95 percent, while by 2013 it had reduced to 91percent.

The first meeting of the Coordination Commission was held today at the Government Administration.

"We believe cooperation with Microsoft will assist innovation and technological development of the country. It will also implement the practice of buying the legal version of Microsoft programs,” said head of the Administration Management Department at the Government Administration Ilia Begiashvili.

Begiashvili will supervise the Coordination Commission.

The Government believed replacing illegally licensed software would be "a step forward” for the development of the information technology market in Georgia.