Microsoft Corp. has sold over 1.75 million licences of its latest Office software suite in India since its commercial rollout in January, which analysts said were mostly bought by business users who have signed on to an upgrade program the company runs for its customers.
The total installed base of legal versions of Microsoft Office in India across all its versions including Office 1995, 1997 and 2000 is around 3 million, according to Microsoft.
Installations of pirated copies of the popular software, which includes applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, are estimated at least a few times that number among price-sensitive consumers. “Piracy in India is very high in the small business and consumer segments particularly in application software because it is difficult to track and pirated versions are easily available. Every PC owner would like to have an Office 2007, but he will not pay such a huge amount to upgrade from the existing versions,” said Diptarup Chakraborti, principal analyst at research firm Gartner Inc.’s Mumbai office.
Business Software Alliance, a body tracking software piracy, estimates piracy rate in India at 72% in 2006 and pegs piracy-related losses at $566 million (Rs2,321 crore). Microsoft Office is available in five different suites ranging from Rs5,512 to Rs 25,792.