The Times of India is reporting this mind-boggling number based on the estimate of shopkeepers at the local grey market, where almost 50,000 DVDs of the new operating system have been sold since its launch, at prices varying from Rs. 40 to Rs. 250. Windows 7 is officially sold in India at a price range of Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 11,000, depending on the version.
“This is the biggest market in the region,” said a shopkeeper in Hazratganj, claiming at least 50,000 DVDs of the pirated Windows 7 have been sold since hitting the local markets within 24 hours of the official launch, fetching sellers about Rs.50 lakh so far.
The legal version of the new operating system launched by Microsoft Corp costs between $150-$300 (Rs.7,500-Rs.15,000) in the international markets. The company, however, tagged its prices 20 percent below international rates in India, where it is available in the Rs.6,000-Rs.11,000 range through official channels.
Despite the discounted company rates, buyers are opting for the pirated version.
“Why invest Rs.10,000 when it is available for Rs.250?” asked Pramod Yadav, a student pursuing a Master of Computer Applications (MCA) course.
Added Mohit Singh, who runs a computer hardware and software maintenance company: “We pay for only the DVD as we are regular customers. A DVD hardly costs Rs.20-40.”
Most computer service providers or “regular customers” in Lucknow and elsewhere in India use pirated software, contended Nishant Kumar, a software engineer with HCL Technologies in Greater Noida.