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Microsoft to start selling its products in Iraq

The software giant has chosen a Baghdad-based company to act as its official distributor in a country hit by years of war and U.N. sanctions.

Microsoft is opening for business in Iraq.

The company has chosen local company Legend Lands to officially sell its products in Iraq.

Based in Baghdad, Legend Lands will serve as a Microsoft partner to distribute the company's products and services through retailers and provide genuine Microsoft licensing for Iraqi customers. Legend Lands offers its services to enterprise companies as well as individual users.

Rajai S. El-Khadem, Microsoft's manager of business development for emerging markets, confirmed the news yesterday, according to the Associated Press. Microsoft called the move "a sign of growth for the war-plagued country."

The combination of war and U.N. sanctions has led to technology shortages in Iraq, the AP reported, while the government's inability to control the tech industry has triggered a market for illegal software.

El-Khadem has asked the Iraqi government to pass laws that would protect intellectual-property rights and clamp down on the use of unlicensed software, the AP added.

CNET has contacted Microsoft for comment and further details. We'll update the story when we get more information.