STEVE BALLMER made a bid to claw back some revenue from China by telling its President Hu Jintao that 90 per cent of his citizens don't pay for the Microsoft software they use.
What Hu said in return has not been communicated but the encounter, which no doubt had tremendous comedy value, took place yesterday during the Chinese president's official state visit to the US.
The fact of widespread software copying in China was probably not a shock to the president of the most populous nation on Earth. If only Hu had replied, "yes including me, who would pay for crap like Vista anyway?"
We don't know what Ballmer said exactly in that meeting either but we reckon it was, "HEY HU BOY, MOST OF YOUR PEOPLE DON'T PAY FOR OUR SOFTWARE, ONLY 10 PER CENT DO! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?"
President Barack Obama referred to the input from the Vole's CEO during his press conference with Hu. The White House's transcript quotes Obama, "Steve Ballmer of Microsoft pointed out that their estimate is that only one customer in every 10 of their products is actually paying for it in China."
Whatever the exchange of words was, no doubt Hu was too polite to point out that the former British colony of Virginia made a huge amount of money from 1789 until 1865 off the back of work done by people who were paid nothing for their effort, namely slaves.
But this is all moot anyway. When Chrome gets given away for free Ballmer will at least know that no one but the 10 per cent that currently pay for his software in China will still be using it. µ
Now you can watch documentaries about horribly disfigured people whenever you like
Brad to the bone
Being in a minority of one doesn't make you right
WeWork needs a rework