The Indian government is pressuring Microsoft to offer deep discounts on Windows 10 so that it’s citizen can afford to upgrade. This comes after the dual waves of ransomware attacks that swept across the world; sowed havoc with both businesses and individuals.
Many Indians still use older versions of Windows due to the prohibitively high cost of buying a legitimate Windows 10 license. These operating systems are often more vulnerable malware, as they fall outside of Microsoft’s support structure and don’t receive security updates. There is also widespread use of pirated copies of Windows.
Gulshan Rai, India’s cyber security coordinator, claims that Microsoft has already “in principle agreed” to the deal. Despite this, the software giant has not made any statement about discounted copies of Windows 10 for the Indian public.
While the idea of getting cheap copies of Windows 10 sounds attractive, it should be noted that the Wannacry malware that prompted this discussion largely affected Windows 10 machines. Which indicates simply owning the operating system was not enough to prevent ransomware.
Giving in to India’s demands may not go so well for Microsoft. It may set precedent for other governments to ask for their own discounts, and essentially cut into company earnings.
The ransomware attacks took advantage of a leaked cache of America NSA zero-day vulnerabilities. Microsoft attempted to patch the problem once it got word, but it’s one thing to push out a patch and a completely different story to get people to install it.
India’s goal of getting people to upgrade their computers for improved security is admirable. But perhaps it is going about the problem in the wrong manner. Especially considering that Microsoft was offering a free upgrade programme to Windows 10 for a whole year after releasing the OS.