(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Windows 98 Launched in Vietnam; Users Hesitate to Buy
August 3, 1998 (HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam) -- Microsoft Corp.'s Windows
98 operating system received a warm but cautious welcome from Vietnamese
users attending a presentation ceremony in mid July by Microsoft Vietnam
in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
|"Our target is to bring more conveniences to end users by providing such
easier and inexpensive programs," Ngo Phuc Cuong, Microsoft's resident
representative in Vietnam, said at the function.
Cuong also received appreciation from the audience for his demos on Windows
98. Cuong said that he expects local users will be satisfied with Windows
98 not only its new applications, but also for its ease-of-use.
"Windows 98 will help them shorten the time for Internet access, and
thus help them save money," said Cuong. Internet users in Vietnam often
complain about expensive Internet access fees. "It is a reason why most
Internet users in Vietnam will be customers of Windows 98," he said.
Currently, Windows 98 is priced at US$200 in Vietnam. "It is not inexpensive
to the majority of users here," Cuong added. However, he said IT companies
and organizations first, and then governmental agencies, are the most
likely to buy Windows 98.
Asked about expected sales by the company, Cuong said calculations are
not available for each separate market in the region. However, an official
with a Microsoft sales section who requested anonymity said Microsoft
Vietnam is expected to pull in about US$10 million this fiscal year.
According to Tran Bao Quoc, sales manager of Ho Chi Minh-based TD&T; Co.,
Windows 98's authorized distributor here, Windows 98 sales look slow
at the start, but will gradually grow toward the end of 1998.
Tran Ha Nam, Scitec shop's owner, said his outlet can sell 10-20 packages
of Windows 98. Nam also said this figure may increase when Windows 98
reaches a certain popularity.
Dang Hoang Khanh, a computer consultant who tried the operating system,
told a BizTech correspondent in Ho Chi Minh city that he discovered
no problems in this new version Windows 98 after a two-week test. "However,
half a month is too short to evaluate such an operating system," Khanh
The majority of local users agree with Khanh that it will take time to
evaluate Windows 98 in the Vietnamese market.
However, some local users said Windows 98 is inconvenient or unsatisfactory.
"I do not think Windows 98 is faster than Windows 95, though it is integrated
with Internet Explorer and other applications," said Lam Ngoc Nam, a
computer engineer based in HCMC.
Most users in Vietnam are afraid of the instabilities that may be caused
by replacing their current operating system to which they are accustomed
with Windows 98.
Analysts said that Windows 98 piracy has already appeared in HCMC. One
student told a BizTech correspondent that he can buy a CD-ROM of Windows
98 for US$20, 10-times lower than its original price.
"Piracy is increasing," Scitec's Nam said.
(David Tran, Asia BizTech Correspondent)