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The Cost Of Software, When Will Nigeria Ask For What China Keeps Getting?

It was reported that Microsoft has agreed to crash the price of Vista in China. This I believe is not the issue. If it makes economic sense for both China and Microsoft to do this why can't Nigeria ask for the same lower pricing for Vista or are all Nigerians too rich that it doesn't really matter?

Some years ago Microsoft did the same thing, crashed the price of Microsoft Office suite which retailed at about $300.00 to just about $30.00 in China.

What is China doing that Nigeria is not doing to get such much needed discounts?

BEIJING -- Microsoft Corp. slashed the price on its Windows Vista operating system in China by more than half, in a bid to lure buyers away from pirated versions of the software.

Beginning Aug. 1, Microsoft cut the retail price for its ,

From Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118613160493287207.html?mod=technology_main_whats_news)

Even in the US, there is a strong government policy concerning the use of Open Source Software as a first alternative when considering software for government funded projects.

Some countries have given complete backing to Open Source Software as a reasonable and viable alternative to expensive proprietary counterparts.

So, with the gradual (albeit slow) growth in the area of ICT in Nigeria isn't it time for the government to take a proactive approach towards reducing the prices of Software especially for government agencies since the option of asking government establishments to switch to Open Source Software for now based on the level of usage and support in Nigeria today for Open Source Software won't be a very appealing option?

While the battle will continue to rage between the proponents of the 2 software movements one cannot fail to state that the government (especially as Nigeria is a developing nation) has a lot of role to play concerning the direction the nation's ICT policy will take.

Development in the area of ICT cannot begin and end in seminar rooms, news conferences and on the pages of newspapers?

An integrated, people oriented and practical approach to using technology to solve problems must be looked into. Policy formulation and implementation with measurable parameters and indices should be the preferred way of using ICT to develop Nigeria.

We may be under estimating the importance of a vibrant software manpower in Nigeria. Apart from creating jobs for young and intelligent Nigerians it offers a real opportunity to transform lives and the general standard of living.

These days DSP (Digital Signal Processing) based technologies enable one to design and develop digital cameras, access control machines, inverters, TVs, communication equipment etc. The bulk of the work is being done at the software layer today at the same time reducing component count at the manufacturer end since most chip makers these days integrate a lot of control features in the digital form as against analog form in virtually all their embedded solutions.

Lest one forgets the subject of this article the government of Nigeria through its relevant ICT agency should as a matter of urgency explore and exploit ways to get a better deal from major Software and indeed Hardware vendors in all area of ICT while encouraging Nigerians to step up their efforts in the area of ICT.

Nigeria cannot develop technologically if the focus on ICT today is based on computerizing government agencies alone. A computer will not turn an inefficient worker into an efficient one but a computer can make a dishonest perform commit fraud faster and easily.

Public schools should have computer labs, access to the internet must be made cheaper and access to software must be looked into to reduce the cost of getting them unless the current trend of buying and using pirated software is cool with the government and the vendors for that matter.

However, most pirated software will not come with the much needed support from the vendor should problems arise and believe me they do in reality. Funny enough Microsoft is slashing the price in its effort to fight piracy in China. Is it that Microsoft has not heard that there is piracy of its products in Nigeria too?

On a final note, Software development and sales do not end with the banking, insurance and manufacturing sectors as it seems that most indigenous Software developers are only focusing on these areas.

There is indeed a much greater promise in the area where many are not looking at for now, the common man. Anyone that can develop a software that the average man on the street will need and indeed use will become the next big thing in Nigeria.

But until tools to develop solutions that can make this happen are made accessible to those who require the tools nothing tangible can be achieved.

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Thats why i thank God for the developers of open source softwares i don't see why i should pay even 200 for an os and buy tons of other programs when i can use other free alternatives. i simply use linux and synaptics to get the programs i need

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Thats why i thank God for the developers of open source softwares i don't see why i should pay even 200 for an os and buy tons of other programs when i can use other free alternatives. i simply use linux and synaptics to get the programs i need

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The thing here is that, the Chinese are well capable of producing programmes and software that would compete evenly with any of the programmes that Microsoft would produce.

In fact the Chinese variations of such product may even outcompete that of microsoft. So for microsoft to even stand a chance of selling in the chinese market, they have to make the price much less than it is elsewhere in the world.

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I've posted a variant of this before:

if not for piracy, most of us down in naija and other third world countries would still be using windows 3.1(thats a quote i lifted from download.com, in case you've seen it before)

i'm an electrical engineer .I'm proficient in some Autodesk Applications, Microsoft Office Applications, and a lot of CAD/engineering applications.how many did i pay for? none! and i wouldn't have had the money to pay for them.(do you have any idea how much a license for autocad costs?)

even then, the authorised sellers in nigeria are not much better than the sellers in pc village;oyinbo dey make am, naija man dey sell am! I previously worked in a consulting firm that bought a network license for an autodesk product.it would have been cheaper to buy it in yankee, but we were directed to buy it from the nigerian retailer, who sold it at a hefty markup.time to install, and the nitwit couldn't do it.it was the in house it guy who eventually installed the application.we called autodesk authorised trainer based in naija for training, and they brought outdated tutorials for the prodcut (the 2004 version, while we had the 2005 version)worse, the tutorials were in imperial, rather than metric units.

anyway, thats by the way. my point is that yes, piracy, warez etal is stealing, but it also the only way the average Nigerian can get a leg up.don't you see all the ads in the papers? autocad, PDMS, Staadpro, microsoft project etc knowledge/experience a must.our schools do not have any partnerships with MS, Autodesk,adobe, sun microsystems etc, so where are people going to learn to use them? or should all jobs go to the fortunate children of the rich whose parents sent them abroad where training in use of software is the standard in educational institutions?

another point.the licenses for the autodesk product cost over 3million. training would have cost another well, i don't know how much. now, the expectation is that using the software will yield immediate financial returns. but it won't. the rates charged by Nigerian consulting firms are far behind the rates by their counterparts in the west. clients, be they multinationals, or mike adenuga, will not stand for it because this is nigeria, and they can get away with it(there's always someone who will do it for less) .charging for man hours is one of several nonos. the odd thing is that these same clients will rubbish nigerian professionals not keeping up with the latest trends. So nigerian professionals have a hobson's choice, stay up to date with current technology that cannot pay for itself, or stagnate and lose clients.

a different variant of the same issue occured in south africa a few years back, when south african firms commenced manufacturing patented antiretroviral drugs at rates the citizens could afford. the drug companies raised a hue and cry.i don't recall how it ended, but the case is obvious-you cannot sell products at first world rates to people earning third world income.

next thing, you'll be telling us that you wrote your undergrad project and reports using genuine MS products.

How quickly you've forgotten that most Nigerians back home cannot afford a computer, much less licenses for windows XP and microsoft office.

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anyone who spends 200+ dollars on an Operating system for HOME USE is a sucker.

There are free operating systems like Unix and Microsoft is making billions selling the same poo for 200-400 dollars? They did that for China cuz he chinese do not give a damn, they pirate anything and everthing. When Microsoft stops selling what should cost 50 dollars for 200 maybe people will not pirate it.

I'm like Paw Paw, I dont buy most software, and certainly NOT microsoft.

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and they tell us they love Nigeria. Bunch of fraudsters and criminals.

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I don't buy any software. If you want Vista let me know.

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It is impossible for the Nigerian government to do so. Maybe when we start manufacturing our own computers we can afford to stand up to them. As long as all we do is import, we have no choice. Its not like the computers come with no operating systems already pre-installed anyway.

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I agree that the market is larger but I am sure they would have considered the same thing here if the government stops patronizing them.

Based on sheer volume of software licenses alone (by government of course) Microsoft makes enough money not to give serious thought to the issue of piracy in Nigeria.

Maybe the day the government stops patronizing them things may change.

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the Chinese market is much larger than the Nigerian market, Microsoft stands to lose a lot to piracy of its software in China than it would in Nigeria should the high cost of software drive more consumers into the hands of software pirates.

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