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Microsoft China Operating Systems Windows

China Prefers Sticking With Dying Windows XP To Upgrading 333

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-devil-you-know dept.
tdog17 writes "China says it wants Microsoft to extend support for Windows XP because that will help in its fight to stop proliferation of pirated Microsoft software. A state copyright official says the release of Windows 8 means a substantial increase in the selling price of a Windows operating system, especially in light of the upcoming end-of-life of Windows XP, which is still used by a large percentage of Chinese. That could drive users to buy pirated copies of a new operating system because they are cheaper, he says."
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China Prefers Sticking With Dying Windows XP To Upgrading

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  • Why (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:01AM (#45605677) Journal
    Why is Microsoft selling Windows 8 for so much more than Windows XP? For most uses it's not significantly better.......
    • Re:Why (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:29AM (#45605825)

      They probably like money. It's a very common condition.

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:38AM (#45606075) Journal

        Used to that Microsoft can sell anything.

        Used to that anything with the Microsoft (c) brand on it, no matter if it's the OS or mouse or keyboard or office suite, they are guaranteed to sell like hotcakes.

        No more.

        With one fumble after another, with more and more alternatives to Microsoft's products (of which many of them are free), Microsoft is running out of cash cows.

        Right now they are so desperate that they are trying to milk Windows 8 as much while the going is still good.

        • by Zemran (3101) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:49AM (#45606105) Homepage Journal

          I have always found their hardware to be of much better quality than their software. Their software is not as bad as a lot of people say but I prefer OSX etc. I have had several M$ mice and keyboards in the past and have been very happy with them.

          • My last mouse lasted 10 years. It was still working when I upgraded it for a r.a.t.7 which lasted a year :(
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I have always found their hardware to be of much better quality than their software.

            Yes, it is assembled only by the most-talented slaves [globallabourrights.org].

          • by onyxruby (118189)

            It should be well made, Microsoft has been in the hardware business for about 30 years by now. Once upon a time they sold memory and logic boards for computers (they actually started as a Unix shop), things like mice have been getting sold for over 20 years and I've had good luck using their keyboards for over a decade. Their latest mice haven't does as well for me as I would like, but I they actually have a fairly good track record with making hardware (except for the xbox 360).

            • by kenh (9056)

              What are you smoking?

              Microsoft sold memory boards for Apple computers so they could run larger programs (other software vendors sold similar memory cards, notably Lotus), they never sold "logic boards" (which I take to mean "motherboards"), and they most definitely were never a "UNIX shop" (they licensed and sold a version of UNIX called XENIX).

              Microsoft started business selling a paper tape containing their version of BASIC for the new personal computers being sold as kits in the early 70's.

        • by dAzED1 (33635)
          Uh, there was never a time in the history of mankind that Microsoft was able to just sell whatever they want at whatever price...in China. That has never, ever, occurred. China is simply officially saying that this is still the case, as it has always been the case.
        • Used to that anything with the Microsoft (c) brand on it, no matter if it's the OS or mouse or keyboard or office suite, they are guaranteed to sell like hotcakes.

          Microsoft hardware peripherals were about the only genuinely good products they made. I really liked my Intellimouse Explorer and my Sidewinder joystick.

        • by jbolden (176878) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @10:28AM (#45607357) Homepage

          Have you looked at the revenue figures for Microsoft? They are gaining "cash cows". Sharepoint is extending office, Lync is extending communicator, SQL Server has moved into data warehousing as well as increasing its share of applications. They earn about $20b a year.

      • Re:Why (Score:4, Funny)

        by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:32AM (#45606243)

        "They probably like money. It's a very common condition."

        Nah. I think that's a myth. If Microsoft liked money they never would have released Windows RT or Windows 8.

    • Re:Why (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Zemran (3101) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:47AM (#45606097) Homepage Journal

      For someone that already has XP, the cost has already been paid and there is no future cost. If you try to force such a user to upgrade they will quite understandably object. Very few people who are being coerced feel a loyalty to the person (or company) that is coercing them and would rather go down the market and get a copy...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gigaherz (2653757)

        It is a common mistake to assume that an old machine has already been paid: the cost of maintenance tends to grow with time, while the value of the machine drops. There's usually a very definite point after which it is not worth maintaining an old machine, but usually by that time you have spent more money in unnecessary maintenance than you would have spent in upgrading the system when it was the right time.

        The same cost exists for software, although because of it's virtual nature, the cost of maintenance

        • Re:Why (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Threni (635302) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @09:09AM (#45606817)

          In many organizations, once you've paid for the device it's free. You have a few guys running around doing a reinstall when the hard drive dies or whatever, but they'll be doing that sort of thing anyway, and they're paid anyway. I don't agree that they magically get more expensive as time goes on. It's not like they are cars which require expensive repairs all the time. At some point a PC will cost more than it's worth to repair, but that's the point you chuck it and get a new one, and even then you can harvest parts as spares. That's why so many companies (and individuals) have XP machines (and why they'll be on Windows 7 in ten years time). It's a crazy waste of money to upgrade when for most people there is no advantage whatsoever.

      • by TheLink (130905)
        If the Chinese Gov cares that much maybe they should start throwing some resources at ReactOS or similar.

        People might have laughed at Red Flag Linux. But if they produce a working XP compatible OS I bet a number of large corporations would be sorely tempted.

        Microsoft might even start listening a bit better ;).
        • Re:Why (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @08:22AM (#45606593) Homepage

          Then you can't use your pirated copy of Office / Visio / Autodesk whatever.

          That's the real issue.

        • People might have laughed at Red Flag Linux. But if they produce a working XP compatible OS I bet a number of large corporations would be sorely tempted.

          I doubt that would make a difference for the situation in China, though..... my understanding was that the reason a lot of Chinese (and Koreans for that matter) are still using XP is because the online banks have written their websites to Internet Explorer 6 and have no intention of ever changing that. There's some sort of crypto module that they're using which is an ActiveX control and completely incompatible with anything else. Some of the more technically savvy users can have XP in a VM for that purpose,

          • by jbolden (176878)

            That's really easy to fix. Obviously the banks can fix it. If not. Windows 7 comes with XP. Windows 8 hypervisor can easily support an XP / IE 6 for banking. If that were the problem I don't see why Microsoft couldn't have easily overcome it for paying customers.

            Now if these aren't paying customers then...

        • by jbolden (176878)

          No they wouldn't. Say by 2016 ReactOS is perfect. That still doesn't solve .NET applications. Say that takes 2 more years and gets them to .NET 2. By 2018 we are talking .NET 6 applications are standard in business, while they can now run 2005's software well.

          What's tempting about that?

    • Re:Why (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:32AM (#45606253)

      It's not that 8 is expensive, it's that XP has been heavily discounted due to age. A full XP licence at launch was a whole lot more expensive than a Windows 8 licence is today, even without accounting for inflation.

    • Why is Microsoft selling Windows 8 for so much more than Windows XP?

      To the best of my knowledge, they have not sold XP since Windows 7 was released. At least not around here. Unless you mean XP starter edition, but that is a crippled version only sold with hardware. A Windows 8 license cost considerably less than XP cost when it was actually sold.

    • by dAzED1 (33635)
      the SNI extension to TLS is one of the biggest differences... The argument from China seems odd though. Microsoft's options are a) no one buys anything (since they already own it, or already know how to generate keys) or B) they use pirated versions of Windows...in neither option, does Microsoft make any money.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Why is Microsoft selling Windows 8 for so much more than Windows XP?

      Because they can.

      Microsoft isn't interested in being a charity, Microsoft is interested in making buckets of money.

      If they could figure out how to charge every person on the planet $1/day for the privilege of using computers, they would.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:04AM (#45605687)

    For now they're still under the delusion that saving money and not needlessly upgrading are virtues. With time they'll learn to throw away perfectly good computers and millions of hours of training for shiny things.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kenh (9056)

      I think you are confusing MS users with Apple users. ;^)

  • Yeah right (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I live here (see IP) and I have NEVER, EVER seen a legitimate copy of XP.

    • by hsa (598343)

      The piracy is just the reason they tell the public.

      The real reason is that their firewall/surveillance software is not yet fully compatible with latest operating systems.

  • Here in China... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:15AM (#45605745)
    Here in China, it is not really possible to even find a normal "legit" version of Windows. All versions found at any normal store will be pirated. A typical price for pirated Windows, sold in a professional looking box, will be about 18 yuan (~3 USD). There is even a common software program used to deliver updates to pirated XP machines. This software also comes with anti-malware tools, and is called "360." This program is the only way that China is able to keep going with Windows, circumventing copyright protection while still receiving regular updated from this service!

    A few months ago I was talking to a sales clerk at a computer market. I saw stickers for Ubuntu on the laptops there, yet the operating system was obviously Windows. I pointed at the sticker with a smirk, and asked him about it, already knowing the answer. He sheepishly tried to tell me how they put on Windows because that's the standard in China. Obviously they were getting discounts from the manufacturers for dumping the Windows tax, and then turning around and installing pirated Windows on these computers. By the way, these were big brand names like Dell, HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, etc. Out of curiosity, I asked him if many people in China use Linux, and he said it is used mostly for servers (he mentioned Red Flag Linux specifically).
  • ...in light of the upcoming end-of-life of Windows XP, which is still used by a large percentage of Chinese. That could drive users to buy pirated copies of a new operating system..

    You mean to tell me the are paying for pirated copies? Why? Honestly can't they just torrent it just like everyone else on the planet?

    • China is something of a contradiction, due to the very rapid industralisation. The cities are as modern as any country (if a bit more polluted), but head just a little way outside them and you'll find subsistance farmers still living as their great-great-grandparents did. I'm guessing that not everyone can get broadband.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      because torrents, are poisoned.
      Chinese clever, not like dumb kid in West who use torrent.

  • by Tekoneiric (590239) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:53AM (#45605933) Journal
    The only reason software companies have the new model mentality is to make money off what they push as a new model. Software companies would be better if they shifted away from that and to doing just version updates. 90% of the development costs are paid for on an existing OS, the rest is doing bug fixes and enhancements. I personally see no reason to go to Win8, I don't care for the interface. I tolerate Win7 because I can make it mostly like XP but wish I didn't have to add software to fix the start menu. I think the drive away from the standard desktop is partly killing the desktop PC. The standard XP style desktop works. Changing it makes no sense on a desktop PC. It requires people relearn things, increases IT support costs and slows down productivity. At work my productivity has slowed down going from XP to Win7 because on Win7 I have to deal with more of the little popup context menus that get in my way no matter how much I tweak it and the copy/paste issues of Win7 drives me crazy. I don't like to side with the Chinese government on anything but on this I agree... On windows, upgrading to Win8 doesn't make much sense.
    • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:44AM (#45606285)

      What's wrong with the Windows 7 start menu? It's essentially the XP one, except you can just tap a key and enter the first few characters of the app you want instead of dragging your mouse around some enormous list. You can revert to a Windows XP-style menu bar, too. Other than that it is the bugfixed, more technically-capable version of XP that you want: MS has been iterating on that same code base for a decade and a half now.

      Now, Windows 8, that was a miscalculation. One interface to rule them all is not an answer to the tablet conundrum.

    • by Krneki (1192201) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:47AM (#45606297)

      Wait until you see Windows server 2012. Every single sysadmin said "What the Fuck??!!!" the first time he logged onto the server.

      Seriously, how hard can it be to keep the Windos NT interface alongside the new one? Why keep pushing for the new GUI when most of the veterans hates to learn a new GUI?

      • by KlomDark (6370) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @09:06AM (#45606801) Homepage Journal

        I did the same, installed Server 2012 on a new server, said WTF? Tried to run with it, had no luck with Hyper-V on 2012. Reformatted with Server 2008 R2, never looked back.

        They have really got to dump that shitty Windows 8 interface on professional hardware. Ain't nobody got time for that...

        Now Windows 8.1 on my laptop, it makes sense and I'm happy with it. But on a server? Give me a frikken break...

        • by Krneki (1192201)

          It first I thought it was only me, but the WTF exclamation is 100% confirmed when you first log into Windows server 2012.

          I picture this in my head.
          MS development team presenting Windows server 2012 to the sysadmins
          Sysadmins: WTF?!
          MS development: Yap, they love the new GUI, let's roll this into production.

        • by kenh (9056)

          Well, if you put a touchscreen on your server console it starts to make more sense... Just sayin'

          • by Krneki (1192201)

            Yeah, so you can order a pizza* while in the server room. Seriously WTF?!

            *I managed to enter the marketplace thing while searching for the Exchange 2013 interface (I know now it's not there and it's 100% web based now). I said "no way they added all this shit to a server interface", they did!

    • I must say, sir or madam: that the idea of never doing genuine software updates is nonsensical. I deal weekly with the extensive pain of supporting newer versions of software in older operating systems, typically in Linux. Newer features of core components often rely on newer features of other components, while other installed components rely specifically on the _older_ versions of the core components. Resolving that dependency hell is a a very time time consuming, and expensive process, It helps pay my sa

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:57AM (#45605951) Homepage

    India which is much poorer:
    Win 7 & 8: 58%
    WinXP: 30%

    China:
    Win 7 & 8: 43%
    WinXP: 50%

    Africa, South America, everywhere else that is poor XP is in massive decline. This is basically China being the odd man out, they're the only ones who want to stick to XP. Now I'm guessing most of those copies aren't legitimate, but I don't see why that should be any different in China than the rest of the world. It's just that XP is the de facto standard I guess.

  • by enter to exit (1049190) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:58AM (#45605955)
    Another reason for keeping xp is that they very likely have the xp code audited and custom patched to their liking.
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:02AM (#45605959)

    I don't see the problem here. The price of Windows 8 is not more than Windows XP. And if the price is still a problem, just use a cracked copy like they did with huge amount of XP installations.

    Or just use the old negotiation tactic:

    Microsoft: XP support is ending but we are selling you this magnificent new operating system called Windows 8.
    China: Gee, I dunno, the price is kind of high. I think we'll just go with Linux...
    Microsoft: *gasp* Well, well, I believe we can negotiate something. Please, sit down, and would you like a cup of coffee? How about this new special price for you...
    China: Ok!

    • by Zocalo (252965)

      I don't see the problem here. The price of Windows 8 is not more than Windows XP. And if the price is still a problem, just use a cracked copy like they did with huge amount of XP installations.

      China had a discounted cost, feature limited, licensed copy of Windows XP and Windows 7 available (if you could find them - good luck with that!) in a mostly futile attempt to bring the endemic mass piracy of software under control. The Windows 7 version was discontinued with the launch of Windows 8, so the only l

    • They did. Thus Red Flag Linux.

  • I live in China but don't read Chinese. Last year I brought a netbook here with the intent of running Linux Mint. Because I wanted more than the 2GB RAM limit on the knock-off models I brought a genuine Samsung which came with Windows 7. Having paid for an unwanted copy of Windows I thought I would look at dual booting it. It's been a long time since I used Windows so I had a play to see what Windows was like. I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft sells the chinese versions much cheaper than the others, so they use the language barrier to make sure people don't just buy the chinese version and set the language to English.

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable. Microsoft really don't promote legal use of their products with such attitudes!

      I don't quite understand, you were surprised by this? You were in China and bought a netbook locally, of course it's going to be the Chinese version of Windows.
      I understand the interfaces used on many Linux distros come with support for a large number of languages out of the box, but Windows comes in different versions for different languages and the ability to change the entire operating system to a different language is a feature you have to buy. It's always been that way and I'm not sure if that even cha

      • by teg (97890) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:40AM (#45606079) Homepage

        I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable. Microsoft really don't promote legal use of their products with such attitudes!

        I don't quite understand, you were surprised by this? You were in China and bought a netbook locally, of course it's going to be the Chinese version of Windows. I understand the interfaces used on many Linux distros come with support for a large number of languages out of the box, but Windows comes in different versions for different languages and the ability to change the entire operating system to a different language is a feature you have to buy. It's always been that way and I'm not sure if that even changed in Windows 8. I'm sure part of this is to recoup the development costs with translating and localizing the OS.

        The reason is not the recoup the development costs - the reason is Price Discrimination [wikipedia.org]: The ability to charge a different price in different markets. The optimal price for Windows in the US is much different than the optimal price for Windows in China - and if you can charge different prices here, Microsoft will make more money. Restricting language change is one mechanism to avoid Americans paying Chinese prices.

        • by SeaFox (739806)

          The reason is not the recoup the development costs - the reason is Price Discrimination [wikipedia.org]: The ability to charge a different price in different markets. The optimal price for Windows in the US is much different than the optimal price for Windows in China - and if you can charge different prices here, Microsoft will make more money. Restricting language change is one mechanism to avoid Americans paying Chinese prices.

          I haven't seen the multilingual pricing of Windows in years, but it was an add-on iirc. You didn't have to pay $WindowsChina + $WindowsEn-US to get a version that could be switched between both.

          You bring up a good point, language locking would allow region-locking (in a loose way), but I still feel development costs are also a factor in this. Professional translators aren't cheap and sometimes dialog and menu commands (and interface element sizes) get changed as words/phrasing that does not directly transla

          • But once you have gone to the trouble of deciding to support a new language/market, such as China, the production cost of making translations available on all your offerings is virtually nil. In the code settings it's most likely a set of a parameter settings within a unified codebase. The language pack option suggests that apart from a little install space, its not a difficult change.

            The core logic here is economics and profit maximization. Software has a high up front build cost, then a virtually zero mar

        • Price discrimination is just a way to optimally recoup the development costs.

    • by pne (93383)

      I live in China but don't read Chinese. Last year I brought a netbook here with the intent of running Linux Mint. Because I wanted more than the 2GB RAM limit on the knock-off models I brought a genuine Samsung which came with Windows 7. Having paid for an unwanted copy of Windows I thought I would look at dual booting it. It's been a long time since I used Windows so I had a play to see what Windows was like. I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable.

      Why single out China? If you bought your computer in the US but didn't speak English (perhaps your native language is Spanish... or even Chinese!), I don't think you can switch Windows to be in Spanish or Chinese without paying for a language pack or a Chinese-language installation CD.

    • by kenh (9056)

      You bought a Chinese computer with a Chinese version of Windows in China and you were upset because there was no easy/free way to change it to English?

      Were you also mad at Samsung for not including an English keyboard?

      And your heading is 100% incorrect - you say "If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China" - how so? By your own example you only "pay twice" if you can't read Chinese and instead require another language on your Chinese computer bought in China with a Chinese edition of Windows. If you COU

  • They're going to be pirating the software anyway, so claiming MS needs to extend XP support as an anti-piracy measure is laughable. It's bad enough that they are responsible for so much of the spam and virus crap. I'd love to see their government somehow do what it wants, and completely isolate the people from the internet entirely, spam and all.

    Wishes and horses.

  • lies, damn lies! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gravis Zero (934156) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:40AM (#45606275)

    He linked the demise of XP to China’s efforts to stem software piracy by making pirated software seem a better option. “These practices affect the smooth operations of genuine software in China,” Yan Xiaohong is quoted as saying.

    Windows XP is easy to pirate but Win 7/8 is a total pain in the ass and updates thwart previously working cracks. Wouldn't this mean that moving to Win 7/8 would be more likely to prevent piracy? Then again, they could just help ReactOS, they sure as hell have reverse engineered Windows enough to make a proper implementation.

    • Re:lies, damn lies! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @09:04AM (#45606789) Homepage

      That is 100% wrong. XP is a pain in the ass to pirate and Windows 7 is the absolute easiest to pirate. Windows loader, one click and I'm done. Windows XP requires a mess to keep it from blacklisting the generated key.

      You really need to learn about piracy before you talk about it, because windows 7 has a huge OEM hole that makes it effortless to crack. Windows 8 is getting about as easy to crack as well.

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @07:22AM (#45606407)
    Keep using what works.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Threni (635302)

      "Invest heavily in spyware for ancient insecure OS, then resist change"

    • Keep using what works.

      I agree, which is why I dumped Microsoft in 1999 and switched to Linux. Even back when Linux was "hard" to use, it still worked better than any version of Windows -- then and now. I don't see that changing any time soon.

  • I hope Microsoft does NOT give in to the demands of China for extending XP support, that OS (and the ancient broken version of IE it shipped with) need to die and ending security updates for it will be a good way to help do that.

  • Why not... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @09:01AM (#45606771) Homepage

    XP is not "dying" I have servers running Windows NT 3.51 that still make more money an hour than 100% of the people here on slashdot. and they are 100% secure because they are on a segregated and airgapped lan.

    When you have something working and you have enough spare hardware to keep it working, why waste money and time "upgrading" simply because some idiots think you need to. Short of someone doing a "mission impossible" break in my servers are 100% hacker proof. Oh and here's a tip they ALL have the administrator password set as password1234.

    They are specialized servers that can play back 16 broadcast quality MPEG2 streams into digital video in CATV headends. 16 at the same time all from a single pentium 1 processor and barely any ram. the playback cards play the video directly from the SCSI hard drives. The replacement today from Seachange are less capable and break down more. These require nearly ZERO attention and continue to run year after year just printing money for us. and we have enough spare parts to handle any issues and give us a year lead time if we ever needed to do a complete upgrade to current tech. If an OS if supported means nothing at all if you have sysadmins and network people that actually have a clue as to what they are doing.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Believe it or not, all of the other sysadmins and network people know what they are doing, it's just they work on systems that - as an inherent part of their function - can't just be set up in a box with no contact to the outside world. I mean, my Game Boy's never going to need well-designed user authentication, but I don't go around boasting of my network security acumen on the back of that.

    • XP is not "dying" I have servers running Windows NT 3.51 that still make more money an hour than 100% of the people here on slashdot. and they are 100% secure because they are on a segregated and airgapped lan.

      Wow. You sure are full of yourself. So you really believe that there is not one person here in all of Slashdot who makes more in an hour than your customized servers do? Anyway, congratulations I guess on finding the only way possible to use NT and make it work, but I bet you have to reboot everything every couple of months or earlier anyway because NT sucks. And anyway, the fact that your one specialized set of circumstances make you or your company company a lot of money (assuming you are telling th

  • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @09:11AM (#45606833) Homepage
    Their argument is basically, "Everybody is going to pirate the new software anyway, so please continue to sink money into supporting the old software that we've already pirated." Is that how I should be interpreting this?
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      "Please continue to put money into working on a product I have no intention of paying for."

  • ...do the same? And why is there an expectation that a country can drive policy of private businesses? Is like it if Porsches were cheaper. However, I doubt that American consumers banding together in this would be given cheaper cars. The "it's a huge market and we have to bow to it at the expense of the locals" argument carries no weight in manufacturing any longer (e.g. coffee, textiles, clothing), so why do we unthinkingly give it a pass here?
  • More likely Win7 and Win8 are much harder to pirate, so a huge portion of the chinese economy is faced with either going without updates or actually paying for windows. Either way it's going to have a negative impact on the Chinese economy. Pay Microsoft (the Americans) or pay the hackers.

  • by alispguru (72689) <<bane> <at> <gst.com>> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @12:10PM (#45608479) Journal

    They could sell the Chinese XP rights to a company in cahoots with the government (and once you get above a minimum size in China, you're with the government or out of business).

    The government company would have the incentive and the government backing to get everyone in China on "legit" XP.

    MS gets money now. They get to transfer blame for XP support to someone else. They could encourage the Chinese to essentially fork XP, so the supported Chinese version wouldn't compete with recent Windows.

    Sounds win-win to me.

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