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Timeline: Microsoft in Africa, 1992-Present

April 20, 2010  »  BusinessNo Comment

Direct Link to Timeline

The interactive timeline above lists the vast majority of Microsoft’s actions on the African continent. The shift from South Africa to other nations is apparent in recent years, as are the efforts to combat piracy and defend the practice of licensing. Click on a title to view a brief summary. Click on the summary to read the original article. Dates are based on when the source was published. For more on the implications of these events and what they have led to, head on over to WhiteAfrican to read his article “Microsoft vs the Open Source Community in Africa” (plus 19 the comments). An HTML version of the timeline is available below:

Event Date: Event Title: Event Description:
    01/01/1992    Subsidiary in South Africa    Microsoft Corp. announces plans to return to South Africa in January 1992. The political climate, although complex, is ripe for foreign investment.   
    01/01/1993    Subsidiary in Morroco       
    01/01/1995    Subsidiaries in Kenya, Egypt    PDF document   
    01/01/1996    Subsidiary in Ivory Coast       
    01/01/1997    Subsidiary in Mauritius       
    03/07/1997    Microsoft helps put Soweto on line    Microsoft opens a digital village in Soweto, South Africa. The company has plans to open 99 more digital villages.   
    03/08/1997    Microsoft in South Africa    Microsoft seeks to open eight offices on the continent of Africa over the course of three years. The most logical first step is to establish a base in South Africa   
    08/18/1997    Microsoft: First America, Now the World    A look at how Microsoft enters a foreign market, in this case, India   
    01/01/1998    Subsidiary in Namibia       
    01/01/1999    Subsidiary in Tunisia       
    11/13/1999    Mandela praises Microsoft, private sector    Nelson Mandela (no longer president at this point) praises Microsoft as a flagship for private sector growth in both South Africa and the world   
    11/16/1999    Microsoft South Africa ‘breaking new ground’    The company invests R90 million in fund to invest in sub-Saharan Africa   
    01/01/2000    Subsidiaries in Algeria, Nigeria       
    09/22/2000    Africa: The Linux Continent?    Microsoft does not see Linux as a threat and believes the cost of ownership is lower with Microsoft products. However, Linux and the prospects of open source products appeal to a growing number of techies.   
    04/20/2001    Microsoft To supply South Africa Govt    A three-year software licensing agreement is signed   
    05/03/2001    Microsoft Intensifies Anti-Piracy Battle    Software piracy remains a concern   
    07/25/2002    Microsoft Introduces New Corporate Licensing Model    Microsoft implements a new payment model in South Africa   
    11/01/2002    Is Microsoft losing ground to Linux?    SchoolNet Namibia rejects an offer by Microsoft to install Windows systems in its schools. The organization cited Microsoft’s rapid product cycles and expensive long-term maintenance as deterrants.   
    09/23/2003    Microsoft in isiZulu, Afrikaans    The company partners with the South African government to produce translated software   
    09/25/2003    Microsoft committed to black empowerment    The company is committed to black empowerment in South Africa   
    02/20/2004    MS Defends African Government Deals    Microsoft battles open source developments   
    03/31/2004    Microsoft signs pacts with African countries    Angola and Ghana agree to work with Microsoft   
    06/17/2004    Microsoft to launch in Kiswahili    Windows is to be translated into Kiswahili   
    09/09/2004    Microsoft Aids Schools    Microsoft donates free copies of Windows 98 and 2000 for school-use   
    12/25/2004    Microsoft to open a graduate student academy    Microsoft opens an IT schools in South Africa   
    01/24/2005    Africa Microsoft to implement technology to the education sector    The Ugandan government signs a ‘Partners in Learning’ deal with Microsoft   
    06/07/2005    Microsoft signs deal to send scrap PCs to Africa    Microsoft will arrange shipments of refurbished PCs for Namibian schools   
    10/06/2005    No Midlife Crisis, Says Microsoft At 30    Microsoft still very confident with its position in Africa   
    10/17/2005    Microsoft: Africa doesn’t need free software    The GM of Microsoft Nigeria states that expertise is the barrier, not cost   
    04/28/2006    Microsoft Launching African Edition of Windows XP    A lower-priced and African-themed version of Windows XP is launched   
    07/12/2006    Microsoft offers South Africa cheap internet connections    Microsoft makes deal with SA cell operator to offer reduced Internet costs. Bill Gates says wireless broadband can reduce connectivity costs.   
    07/12/2006    African initiatives announced by Gates    Microsoft uses the Internet to create an African tourism portal   
    08/01/2006    Microsoft Brings Setswana Software to Southern Africa    A new language pack for Windows XP is available in Setswana   
    12/21/2006    FG, Microsoft Sign Agreement On E-Government    The Nigerian government partners with Microsoft   
    04/17/2007    Dr Cheick Diarra: Chairman, Microsoft Africa    The Microsoft Chairman for Africa explains why the company is focusing on South African educational needs. He also addresses relationships with partners in South Africa and plans to expand educational programs across the continent.   
    05/01/2007    Microsoft forms partnership with IYF    40,000 Africans benefit from IT and job training   
    06/12/2007    Microsoft to send recycled computers to Africa    A continent-wide distribution program for recycled computers is launched   
    06/13/2007    Docit, Microsoft Africa Sign MoU    The Gambian government partners with Microsoft   
    07/16/2007    Microsoft Accelerates Free Access to Journals    Microsoft assists with online research   
    07/17/2007    Microsoft offers subscription software in S. Africa    Pay-as-you-go computing system allows 3-month subscriptions to Office 2007   
    11/01/2007    Microsoft, Telecommunication Union launch online platform for Africa    Microsoft partners with ITU   
    12/18/2007    Microsoft donates computers to youth groups    Youth groups in East Africa receive computers from Microsoft   
    02/27/2008    Microsoft to Empower 2500 Youths    Microsoft supports ICT training for 2,500 youth   
    04/21/2008    Microsoft Announces New Partnership in Africa    Microsoft partners with Angola   
    04/23/2008    Microsoft Launches NGO ICT4D Academy in Africa    The NGO academy seeks to strenghten economic development in Africa   
    04/24/2008    Microsoft: E-government Critical in Africa    Microsoft encourages African governments to implement e-government elements   
    07/14/2008    Microsoft renews African software push    Microsoft will provide the free licenses to 26,000 schools in South Africa   
    08/29/2008    Microsoft reduces Office price to combat Kenyan piracy    Microsoft Office 2007 now costs 40% less   
    09/25/2008    Microsoft’s Africa Chairman Tackles Access Problems    The chairman of Microsoft Africa plan on addressing accessibility challenges   
    10/28/2008    Microsoft Battles Low-Cost Rival for Africa    An excerpt from a WSJ article on Microsoft’s infiltration of the African market   
    11/25/2008    Microsoft starts community training project in South Africa    A community development program in South Africa hopes to teach job skills   
    05/15/2009    The hi-tech battle for Africa    Microsoft defends criticism of its practices across the continent   
    06/09/2009    Microsoft, Schoolnet Reward Innovative Teachers    Microsoft honors innovative teachers in Nigeria   
    08/03/2009    Microsoft Promises Savings in Hard Times    Microsoft will continue to invest at the same rate in Africa despite the economic downturn   
    08/24/2009    Microsoft introduces OneApp for mobile social networking in South Africa    A new application developed by Microsoft in South Africa will facilitate mobile social networking   
    09/24/2009    New IBM software competes with Microsoft in Africa    IBM competes with Microsoft for software licenses   
    12/07/2009    African computer scientists recognized    Three African scientists receive the first TWASS-AAS-Microsoft Award for Young Scientists   
    12/15/2009    Africa Office Home 2007 edition    The application package is available in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. One of the goals is to promote genuine software based on affordability and availability   
    01/30/2010    ECA, Microsoft sign ICT agreement    The Economic Commission for Africa and Microsoft agree to promote access to the use of ICT in Africa and ensure its local development   
    02/02/2010    World Bank, Microsoft Partnership Will Boost Local Economies – Ezekwesili    A partnership between Microsoft and the World Bank is expected to support the creation of competitive local economies   
    02/17/2010    Microsoft launches new product in Kenya    The discounted Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student can be installed on three computers   
    03/12/2010    Microsoft strengthens commitment to Nigeria economy    Microsoft opens a new office in Lagos, a reflection of local growth   
    03/16/2010    Microsoft Launches IE 8 in Ethiopia    The product features enhanced security and safety features which are expected to mitigate problems at cyber cafés   
    04/19/2010    Microsoft in new ‘no byte left unused’ deal with schools    Schools now can use one CPU for multiple students instead of matching the number of PCs with the number of students   
    04/20/2010    Inspire Programme    Microsoft supports a variety of networking and interaction programs at the academic level   
    05/01/2010    Mobile Healthcare for Africa    Africa will grant five awards of about US$25,000 each to fund projects relating to mobile healthcare