Sales of computer makers in Latin America increased 13% this year with a total of 27 million units, but this increase is low in a region that faces huge technological challenges, said a Microsoft manager.
Hernán Rincón, president of Microsoft Latin America, mentioned that the installed base of computers is between 100 and 120 million units and broadband reaches only 20 percent, while in some countries of the region the percentage is smaller.
One in six American have a computer and about 35% of the population has Internet access, but "80 percent of it is done through an Internet cafe.
"We have a very big challenge in the region and the world. We have not yet reached as much as we would like," he said in a meeting with reporters in Miami.
Challenges persist when they lowered the cost of computers, which now can be purchased with less than $ 200.
"Of those 27 million PCs (which will be sold in 2010) about half are manufactured in the region, especially Brazil and Mexico. This makes them more accessible," he added.
Until five years ago there was a certain distancing of Latin Americans toward technology, but has been overcome with the use of cell phone.
Governments and the business sector, meanwhile, have understood that technology is an important tool to improve productivity and reduce costs.
In fact, that was his shield to face the onslaught of the international financial crisis which in turn resulted in significant growth for Microsoft in Latin America in 2009.
"All governments and most companies called us to improve productivity and save costs. This enabled us to continue growing in 2009 in the region where most companies do not because of the crisis," said the manager of Microsoft .
The software giant grew at a rate of "more than 20% annually over the past five years and if all goes well, this year will triple the size of Microsoft in the region in relation to that period."
During this period, Latin America is the area of Microsoft that has grown into the world, according to Rincon, who was optimistic about the future of technology in the region.
The largest markets which have are Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela, in that order.
The technology has allowed Chile to bring government closer to its citizens and bring transparency to its procurement processes to enable all providers know what is taking so that they can make their bids, explained the executive.
Brazil, meanwhile, is the pioneer in the payment of taxes via the Internet, "is the country that collected electronically in the world"; Puerto Rico using technology in the educational and the island has the highest ratio of the region in terms of relationship between student and computer, which is almost one to one.
Regarding Microsoft’s challenges in the region, said first corner to maintain their advanced technology, design strategies to reach more people and work hard with cybercafes, "which is not easy because they are at remote sites.
Piracy is another challenge, highlighted the executive, who said that 64 percent of software is pirated and there are countries like Paraguay and Venezuela, where more than 80 percent.
Rincon provide other information about Microsoft Latin America: is the number one market share in servers for greater penetration, has more email accounts in the U.S. and Hotmail that over a hundred million users, with the Messenger instant messaging program.
He also announced that the company will hold the Government Leaders Forum of the Americas, 29 and 30 April in Mexico and it has invited the presidents of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe, of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, and the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández .
Reference: El Universal, Mexico