Microsoft’s “Africa Pack” is Such an Insult to the Continent
Microsoft announced the launch of its “first-ever ‘Africa Pack’” on Wednesday 14th December. The pack is nothing but a collection off some freely available, rejected and lousy software which can also be downloaded from microsoft.com.
While making the announcement, Microsoft claims that many Africans cannot afford the cost of downloading the software hence the reason why it is making the “Africa Pack” collection. That is one of the most stupid argument I have ever heard. How well spread out is Microsoft distribution? From what I know, the poor distribution of Microsoft is one of the main reason why piracy of software is common. You cannot make a software widely available while your distribution only reaches those who can afford to download the software for free from microsoft.com.
The Microsoft’s Africa Pack includes:
- Microsoft Security Essentials – an anti-virus solution for protection for your PC;
- Windows Live Essentials – programs for photos, movies, instant messaging, email, social networking and more.
- Africa Theme Pack – desktop wallpapers and themes to customize your PC.
- Local Language Interface Packs (LlP) for KiSwahili, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, and Amharic add a language layer to Windows and provide a roughly 80 percent localized experience by presenting the user interface – commands, dialogue boxes and more – in the user’s native language.
- Internet Explorer 9 – the latest version of Microsoft’s popular browser for a fast, clean and trusted browsing experience.
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1 – an update that includes previously released security, performance, and stability updates for Windows 7.
Naming the free pack of software “Africa Pack” proves one of the points I raised about the tech companies regard for Africa. They view Africa as a lousy and unimportant market. This was evident at LeWeb, is evident when you see the likes of Nokia, Samsung, LG and others come to launch phones in the Kenyan market. They will never exclusively launch a superior phone or system from Africa. They would rather do it from Europe and the America’s first and make some primitive / dumb and almost useless version of the same available to Africans.
This perception of Africans needs to change of Africans must rise up and change the vendors and manufacturers now. We must never beg to be treated right. We must fight for our space. Africans are not some exclusively female club whose mandate is to push for affirmative action. We are Africans are we have our rights.