Some of the good news is that Microsoft’s business is booming in Russia:
Microsoft says sales in Russia have surged 72 per cent in the year to July as piracy declined and incomes rose, boosting demand for licensed products.
The national piracy rate fell four percentage points last year, to 83 per cent from 87 per cent of the market, Microsoft says.
Looks like there is plenty of upside potential left.
Also good news is that Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 in India:
Peter Moore, Corporate Vice President, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division formally launched of Xbox 360 in India yesterday. Microsoft has chosen Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and cricketer Yuvraj Singh as the Brand Ambassadors for Xbox 360 in India.
The company also announced ‘Yuvraj Singh International Cricket 2007′, a new gaming title around cricket, which has been created specifically to cater to the tastes of the Indian gaming market. The game, which features Yuvraj Singh, encapsulates the spirit of cricket, and provides gamers a real-life experience of playing for and against the teams of their choice.
The Xbox 360 will be now available across Microsoft’s 1200 strong retail network across top 7 cities in the country including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune.
I presume the Indian market isn’t expected to be too large, thus the belated announcement.
Now for the bad news – China is readying an antitrust law that seems to be pointed right at Microsoft:
China is drafting an anti-monopoly law that might force companies such as Microsoft to give up leading market shares in the world’s fastest-growing economy.
Under the law, local or overseas companies with more than 50 percent of China’s market share for any product will be investigated.
Those using dominant market positions to set unfair prices will be fined as much as 10 percent of annual sales, according to a draft obtained by Bloomberg News.
Microsoft’s Windows operating system has more than a 50 percent share of the desktop-computer market in China, according to Edward Yu, chief executive of Beijing-based technology market research firm Analysys International.
The draft law defines abuse as when products are sold at “unfairly high” prices or bought at “unfairly low” prices, without specifying what constitutes unfair.
Sounds like a license to extort.
And finally, the city government of Munich, Germany started the long promised conversion to Linux:
Munich has begun its migration to Linux on the desktop, a year later than planned and nearly three years since the city announced its move to open source software.
“There have been some delays along the way but we’re now moving steadily ahead,” Florian Schiessl, manager of the Limux project for the city of Munich, said Thursday by telephone.
Since Tuesday, the first 100 of the city’s 14,000 PCs have been switched from Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Office applications to Linux and OpenOffice.
“Today, we’re still working in both the Windows and Linux worlds,” Schiessl said. “But over the next two years, the Linux world will get bigger, while the Windows world will get smaller.”