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Good news for Microsoft: China wants to dump Windows

Robert X. Cringely | Sept. 1, 2014
If China makes good on its threat to break up with Windows, Microsoft could lose the battle -- yet win the war.

Microsoft shrugs
In response, Microsoft is probably saying, "Or else what?" Get a Microsoft number cruncher a little drunk and he'll tell you flat out that China is one of the planet's leaders in Windows software piracy, second only to Latin America. Chinese hackers steal Windows, Office, and other packages; crack them; and make them available on China-net in massive numbers. At the same time, big Chinese businesses and government make huge sales deals with Western developers, take delivery, then never pay up.

It makes you think that the big, new Microsoft office in Shanghai might be less about new software sales and more about getting their due. Then again, Microsoft sales must be desperate to moveWindows 8, even to people who might not pay for it.

Regardless, the new operating system news wilts further when you learn that China, especially the government, is still galumphing along on more than a half-billion Windows XP machines. I sure hope they ported all that app code before they deploy their Ubuntu clone. Otherwise, they'll wind up mired in Wine or owing Crossover a fortune.

Add it all up, and I doubt Satya is losing sleep over a hastily slapped-together OS based on a low-penetration Linux desktop that can't run the apps China needs it to run unless it relies on homegrown black magic or a third party. It's not exactly a game changer. If China wants to pressure Western software companies, it'd do better to stick to trade negotiations than pulling lame PR stunts — and paying its bills every once in a while.

Source: InfoWorld


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