If there is one company that hates piracy more than anybody, it’s Microsoft. The software products carrying the Microsoft label are among the most pirated in the world.

Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, in particular, rank as the first and second in several statistics. No surprises then to see Redmond increasing its efforts to reduce piracy around the world.

Marius Haman, the Anti-Piracy, Legal & Corporate Affairs lawyer for Microsoft Middle East & Africa talking to IT News Africa said that Microsoft’s antipiracy push is focused on what the company internally calls “the three Es” — a concept referring to engineering, education and enforcement:

“In engineering we try to make our products safer and more difficult to copy; Education is a critical piece because I think there are a lot of consumers who are being caught out because they do not know the software that they are using is pirated or from illegal copies.

Enforcement is where a lot more has to be done in terms of working together with the private sector, rights holders such as Microsoft and law enforcement officials to clamp down on the people who distribute the software to consumers.”

Haman went on to detail that China is the country that distributes the largest amount of pirated software, among them are counterfeited copies of Windows and Office.

Africa, meanwhile, has become the main destination of these illegal apps.

The piracy rate in countries like Nigeria currently stands at 82 percent. Kenya and Botswana are not far behind with figures of 78 and 80 percent respectively:

“In terms of what we do in South Africa, we have a number of programs running concurrently, and some of them are as informal as education and awareness pieces directed at consumers and some of those are more formal and often joint partnerships with the Intellectual Property Office in a particular country.”

While the software titan has allocated increased resources to combat and battle piracy, a lot still remains to be done. Piracy is often cited as one of the reasons that drives cybercriminals as counterfeited software often comes bundled with malware and attack tools.

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