In wake of ransomware attacks, India presses Microsoft for discount on Windows 10 upgrades

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The past two months has been rough in terms of cybersecurity, particularly for India where upgrading to Windows 10 is considered a minority. With the recent WannaCry and “NotPetya” attacks exploiting older Windows operating systems, India has made an official request to Microsoft for a citizen discount to upgrade. Reuters reports an exclusive interview with India’s cyber security coordinator Gulshan Rai confirms that Microsoft has “in principle agreed”.

Rai told reporters that the government began its initative to push Windows upgrades not long after the WannaCry attack in May. Unfortunately, the cost of a new OS sets many of their citizens and businesses back. In India, Windows 10 Home runs 7,999 rupees (about $123 US) with Pro versions nearly doubled, Reuters pointed out. Even though Rai stated that nearly 200,000 ATMs were upgraded, that number doesn’t begin to touch the iceberg of the some 1.3 billion people in the country.

So how cheap is Microsoft expected to give away their ‘most secure’ home operating system? Exact numbers haven’t been released, and Microsoft spokespersons so far have refused to comment. However, Rai told Reuters that the one-time upgrade to Windows 10 will be discounted for the entire country, even going so far as saying that he expected the software to be “less than a quarter of the current price”.

The expected “throw-away prices” could encourage other countries to do the same, which could significantly impact projected revenue. No official confirmation has been released by Microsoft or other government officials at this time,