All the products in the Africa Pack are already available free to consumers via Microsoft.com. However, 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 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.
“By making these tools available offline, we’re lowering the barrier to access and delivering a significant cost savings to African consumers,” explains Hennie Loubser, General Manager of Micrsoft West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands. “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.”
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.
“Access to enhancements and innovations in the Africa Pack is just one of the benefits of purchasing genuine versions of Microsoft software,” said Loubser. “Customers get the most value for their money – the highest quality experience and the best protection – when they buy genuine.”
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.