RI becomes Microsoft's biggest growth market in SE Asia

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia has overtaken the Philippines as world-software-giant Microsoft's most rapidly growing market in Southeast Asia thanks to a surge in the sales of the company's antivirus products here.

Microsoft Indonesia executive Adrian Anwar said Tuesday in Jakarta that sales of antivirus products in Indonesia jumped by 230 percent in the first quarter of the company's financial year (July 2006 to September 2006), as compared to the same period last year.

According to Adrian, in terms of sales growth, Indonesia now came first in Southeast Asia after shunting the Philippines into second place.

Adrian said that Indonesia was now one of Mirosoft's major markets in the Asia-Pacific region, contributing 20 percent of Microsoft's global revenues in the 2006 financial year.

Microsoft Indonesia platform strategy manager Subhan Novianda said that the significant increase in the sales of Microsoft's antivirus software reflected real growth in demand, rather than being due to a decline in the sale of pirated products.

Even though copyright piracy is still high here, Subhan said that for security products, Indonesian buyers preferred the originals.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) upgraded Indonesia's status from Priority Watch List to Watch List on Monday, saying the country had demonstrated its commitment to fighting the problem by enacting a total of seven antipiracy laws to protect intellectual property rights.

Last financial year (July 2005 to June 2006), Microsoft Corporation reported an 11 percent increase in global revenues to US$44.28 billion from the previous year's $40 billion.

Subhan said that the increased sales demonstrated customer trust in the company's antivirus products.

He said that Microsoft's top antivirus products included Isa Server 2006 -- an integrated edge security gateway that helped to protect IT environments against internet threats -- and Antigen, or Forefront Security for Exchange Servers as it is more popularly known, which delivered comprehensive server-level antivirus protection. These two products contributed 70 percent and 30 percent respectively of total sales.

"People nowadays are beginning to realize that this is not all about technology, but is also about security systems," Subhan said, adding that Microsoft would launch Forefront Client Security, an antivirus product for desktop and file servers, in December.

"We are upbeat that with the new product, our target of a 20 percent increase in revenue in the current fiscal year will be met," Subhan said. (09)
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