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Innovation

Romania's IT industry built on 'piracy'

President of Romania has acknowledged to Bill Gates that unlicensed software helped his country's IT industry to develop
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor on

Unlicensed software went a long way towards helping Romania build a thriving IT economy, according to the country's president, Traian Basescu, who chose the opening of Microsoft's global technology centre in Bucharest to admit the fact.

While Romania has long been considered by many a source of illegal software, and with Microsoft a frequent choice of those engaged in illegal copying, the country has been a target for anti-piracy advocates for some time. On Thursday, President Basescu owned up to this fact to Microsoft's chairman, Bill Gates, and acknowledged the debt his country owed to the company.

Basescu said, "Piracy helped the young generation discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania." The president added that 10 years ago, the country's IT industry "was an investment in Romania's friendship with Microsoft and with Bill Gates".

According to Reuters, Gates remained silent on the question during the joint press conference.

Romania has become one of the most popular choices in Europe for companies looking to build IT software and services facilities. In January, IBM announced that Romania was one of two shortlisted choices for a new centre for building expertise in service-oriented architecture (SOA).

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