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Microsoft Licensing – How Much Must Georgian Business Pay to Protect Copyrights?

Windows, Microsoft Word, Excel – we have been applying these software products for many years, entirely free of charge, while these products have specific prices. The Georgian business has to realize this issue now.

There is the highest level of software piracy in the country and Microsoft has decided to protect its own copyrights. Part of the business sector complains about this circumstance, because installation of legal software products is related to considerable costs. However, the Authorities have already moved to licensed programs thoroughly and supposedly, the business sector will also have to satisfy the appropriate requirements.

According to rough calculations, if the company possesses 30 computers and plans to install Microsoft’s licensed software products, it has to pay 10 000 USD for one-time purchase of a package of Windows and office programs, while in the future annual renewal of office software will cost more than 3500 USD.

Based on these estimations and the quantity of major, medium and small business companies in the country,  1 billion USD outflow voiced by businessman Lasha Papashvili may be absolutely real.

“Under the rough calculation, 1 billion USD will be withdrawn from the country every year to legalize consumption of Microsoft software. We can imagine how this fact will affect the state economy. Another aspect is that we do not want to be in the Black List. Our nation must not steal intellectuals property of others. There were several facts when in our country Microsoft started protection of its own copyrights”, Lasha Papashvili told the Business Contact.

Economy Minister Dimitri Qumsishvili noted that the Government has achieved much progress in terms of copyrights protection.

“We have told many times Microsoft representatives that the country development should be consecutive and the companies must be able to move to licensed software products”, the Economy Minister said.

It is unclear what the Minister has implied in the term of Consecution, but the fact is that the Government has not agreed any action plan with Microsoft to alleviate the process of moving to licensed software programs in business companies.

The Georgian representation of Microsoft has not commented on prices of products and they readdressed us to the partner company. However, they noted the company is trying to protect its own copyrights, but not always through judicial leverages and it remains flexible in relation to the business companies that are ready for cooperation. Over the past 2 years, only 7 trials were recorded and five of them were resolved by negotiations, they said.

“We are sure that the companies that use our software products must pay for it. When talking about personal use of our software, they cannot realize similar approaches damage various bodies”.

When you actively use these programs, this signifies that the government loses revenues, for instance, in the form of VATs. Therefore, we are trying to explain to companies why they must use licensed software”, Jack Pinada, lawyer for Microsoft Georgia told the BusinessContact.

The Office 365 is a package of office programs of new generation based on cloud technology. The price of this package varies due to content of the package. Anyway its price is lower compared to the ordinary office package. Moreover, some packages of Office 365 enable to work in the offline mode too.

Therefore, UGT, one of the major partner companies of Microsoft, that has implemented a 19 million USD state project for moving to the licensed software products, recommends to use the Office 365 office software package and to buy computers with Windows software installed.

In the event the company owns computers and wants only to move to licensed software, prices are different. It should be also noted that Microsoft products are cheaper for Georgia and other countries of the region compared to the EU countries.