Ransomware Woes Sees India Force Microsoft for Cut-Price Upgrade Deal

Following last month’s unprecedented cyberattack led by the WannaCry ransomware, India has reportedly pressed Microsoft to offer a significant one-time discount deal for over 50 million Windows users to upgrade to the latest Windows 10 operating system.

A new Reuters report has revealed that the Indian government and Microsoft have “in principle agreed” to a cut-price deal for some 50 million Windows users to upgrade to the latest version of the platform’s software.

In conversation with Reuters, India’s cyber security coordinator Gulshan Rai confirmed the early agreement. Rai was appointed to the post of the country’s first cybersecurity chief, having been hand-picked by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the position.

He further added:

“The quantum of the price cut, we expect some detail on in a couple of days. “

Such a deal would be unprecedented, wherein a government has pushed for a private company to offer its software at a discount for millions of citizens. Indeed, Rai added that the Indian government is expecting Microsoft to offer a safe and cheap upgrade to Windows 10 at “throwaway prices”. Rai added that he was confident that the discount would be “less than a quarter of the current price.”

Notably, he stated:

“It will be a one-time upgrade offer to Windows 10 and it will be a discounted price for the entire country.”

India is estimated to have some 57 million computers running on Windows, Apple and Linux based machines. A staggering 96% of that number is thought to be computers running Windows. Windows 10 Home retails officially for 7,999 rupees (approx. $125) in India, while the Pro version of the software costs $232, or 14,999 rupees.

Rai adds that the government is looking to “incentivize the common man to upgrade their systems” after determining that patches to fix existing vulnerabilities aren’t the solution.

“New OS versions have different architecture, much improved architecture and much more resiliency,” Rai added.

Microsoft’s decision to patch vulnerable its vulnerable Windows XP operating system has seen criticism from members of the cybersecurity community.

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