KARACHI - Microsoft on Monday showed its serious concern over a new software piracy data that reveals that the use of pirated software in South Asia remains among one of the highest worldwide. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), an international association representing the global software industry, in partnership with market research firm IDC, announced its seventh annual global software piracy study, tracking PC software piracy rates in more than 100 economies. From 2008 to 2009, installations of unlicensed software on personal computers (PC) in Pakistan fell by 2 percent to 84 %. The commercial value of this illegal software amounted to US $ 166 million. Despite the global economic recession, piracy of software on PCs declined in many markets, dropping in 54 economies and increasing in only 19, according to the 2009 BSA/IDC Global PC Software Piracy Study. However, the global piracy rate increased from 41 to 43 percent, largely the result of fast growing, higher piracy markets such as China, India, and Brazil increasing their share of the overall software market. This study makes clear that BSAs efforts to reduce software theft in Pakistan are making some difference. A piracy rate of 84 % is far from acceptable, said said Dale Waterman, BSA Co-Chair, Middle East and Africa. As we emerge from the most severe global economic recession in twenty years, we will continue to engage with government, businesses, and consumers about the risks of stealing software - and the true impact that software piracy has on Pakistan economy. In order to address the issue of software piracy, Microsoft Pakistan has been working closely with public as well as private stakeholders including the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan Computer Association (PCA) etc. A number of trainings, seminars along with awareness campaigns have been conduted by Microsoft Pakistan to rasise the awareness about risks of using unlicensed / pirated software. However, much more needs to be done to bring a significant change in the rate of software piracy in the country and government needs to play a leading role in addressing the issue comprehensively. The issue of reducing software piracy has much broader implication for a developing economy like Pakistan. By reducing software piracy, the government cannot only increase employement and tax revenues, but it can also stimulate the local IT industry by ensuring the IT enterprenueurs are rewareded for their efforts. Microsoft is committed to promoting the respect of IPR in the country to improve its image and global competitiveness said Kamal Ahmed, Microsoft Country General Manager, Pakistan.