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Microsoft unveils country office in Rangoon

Sy Wann, Microsoft's new country manager for Burma, speaks to reporters at a press conference to unveil the company's new office in Rangoon on 20 September 2016. (Photo: DVB)

Software giant Microsoft has acted swiftly following news of an upcoming end to US economic sanctions, opening its first company office in Burma on Tuesday.

In a press conference at the Sedona Hotel, the new country manager, Sy Wann, unveiled the company’s vision for Microsoft’s role in a country that has one of the highest rates of smartphone penetration in the region.

Speaking to DVB, Sy Wann acknowledged some of the market might be struggling.

“We will have special prices for students, those in education, and non-profit oganisations. For other unique projects, we will be making considerations on an individual basis — to ensure it is accessible for as many people as possible,” he said.

According to Sy Wann, the company will focus on educating the public on “the dangers of pirated software”, including the risk of identity theft.

A statement released by Microsoft said that Sy Wann “will be helming Microsoft’s product, service and support offerings in Myanmar [Burma] and leading the ambition for Microsoft to be the productivity and platform company for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

His appointment comes after three years heading Cisco Systems Inc.

It’s the latest move for the Washington-based company. In September 2015 Kanbawza Group, Burma’s largest private bank, partnered with Microsoft to revamp its IT systems.