Azerbaijan signs software legalization agreement with Microsoft (PHOTO)

ICT Materials 27 May 2011 13:48 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 27 / Trend H. Valiyev /

The Azerbaijani government signed a formal agreement with Microsoft to help ensure that all government offices covered by the agreement will run legally licensed software, signaling a new commitment to reduce software piracy throughout the country, Microsoft Azerbaijan said.

As part of this agreement, the Azerbaijani government has pledged to build legalized e-Government services in order to reduce the risks associated with non-genuine software and thereby improve services to citizens, business and Government employees.
This agreement is aimed to address the high rate of piracy in Azerbaijan, currently at 88 percent according to the Business Software Alliance's 2010 piracy study released May 12, 2011.

"The agreement signed by Azerbaijan with Microsoft is a big step forward in the development of ICT as the priority area for Azerbaijan in next few years," said Ali Abbasov, Azerbaijani Minister of Communications and Information Technologies.

"The agreement confirms the important role Azerbaijan plays in the region and its intention to further develop modern technologies, enhance human resources, and ultimately, introduce knowledge-based economics," he said.

The agreement will foster the growth of technology awareness and expertise in Azerbaijan by highlighting the increased risks associated with non-genuine software such as malware, data loss and other issues that could compromise privileged data. By setting a strong example for safeguarding the intellectual property rights in both the public and private sectors, the agreement is hoped to influence the country's national competitiveness, which in turn could help attract foreign direct investment.

"With a recognized track record in the region for strong economic development, Azerbaijan is aiming to move away from an economy reliant on resources to one that is capitalizing on the latest innovative technologies," said Teymur Akhundov, Country Manager at Microsoft Azerbaijan.

"Microsoft Azerbaijan considers the signed agreement as fundamental to establishing a sustainable software market and attracting further investments into the country to generate valuable jobs and cement the perception of the country as regional leader in technology," he said.

Microsoft believes that the global arena will benefit from the reduction of software piracy and stronger IP protections to safeguard the industry's ability to innovate, level the playing field for small businesses, and help local governments generate tax revenue through the legitimate sale and trade of genuine software.

Robert McDowell, Vice President at Microsoft, stated that the agreement would 'open up new possibilities for Azerbaijan's development in the years to come'.