Microsoft's decision to abandon the local representation of its windows media division will leave Australia far behind the rest of the world, the Australian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association has warned.
"This downgrading of the Australian support for Microsoft's media and streaming production tools represents a significant downgrading of support to Australia's digital content industry. It also represents a downgrading of Australia's position as a service centre for the Asia-Pacific region," according to an AIMIA spokesman.
Mark Muggeridge, head of production at Streamworks, was even more grim, saying this decision could lead to Australia becoming a third world country from a technological perspective.
Lynne Spender, AIMIA director said: "We not only lose on the ground support for the content creators and producers, we lose the expertise of business development manager Frank Arrigo. Arrigo has played a major role in promoting and explaining the potential of new media to Australian industry and, most importantly, in developing a digital media infrastructure among the local developer and carrier community.
"AIMIA's position is that it can't expect multinationals to hang around and continue investing in Australia when we have comparably poor bandwidth and a pricing regime that the market seems to be rejecting," Muggeridge said.
"I believe that the cost of bandwidth in Australia and the low number of users has made Microsoft think twice about the value of the local market," he said.
Microsoft will now represent the digital media platform out of Singapore.