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The Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies (MTCHT) of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed a three-year agreement with Microsoft on the acquisition of licensed software for government agencies. Under the agreement reached between the parties, it is planned to provide civil servants’ computers with licenses (20,000 licenses) for Microsoft software (Windows Pro, Office 365 ProPlus, Core CAL), and to license higher education institutions according to academic privileges (10,000 licenses).
In addition, when signing the agreement, Microsoft offered the program "Advantages for students", which provides for the free-of-charge acquisition of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office software by students of all higher education institutions of the Republic of Azerbaijan (about 150 thousand people).
In accordance with the agreement, the second stage of cooperation between MTCHT and Microsoft on the licensing of software in government agencies will be implemented.
Thus, earlier, in 2011, 10,000 computers were licensed (Windows, Office ProPlus and Core CAL) in executive apparatuses of government agencies.
The results of the research conducted by IDC (International Data Corporation) for 2017 show that the level of use of unlicensed software in Azerbaijan decreased compared to previous years.
Most of the required licenses (Windows and Office) were issued by Microsoft.
The use by civil servants of licensed software that will be acquired within this agreement will increase the level of protection of information systems and personal data from international cyberattacks. And the licensing of education institutions will allow students and teachers to use licensed software.
This, in turn, will lead to a sharp decline in the level of use of unlicensed software in the private sector and in the country as a whole for three years.
The main objectives of the agreement are to save costs in this area, improve the country's position in the intellectual property protection rating, develop an innovative ecosystem, attract foreign investment, and to increase the use of electronic services.
Note that in countries where the level of use of unlicensed software is high, the risks of cyber-attacks are increasing, the level of knowledge in computer science is decreasing, the number of high-tech jobs is dwindling and there are difficulties in protecting intellectual property rights.
According to the World Economic Forum, protection of property rights is one of the main components of the Country Competitiveness Index.
The agreement, along with improving Azerbaijan's position in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index, will accelerate the implementation of institutional measures aimed at improving the conditions for entrepreneurship and the investment environment in the country.
AzInTelecom LLC under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies will acts as an operator of the project.