MICROSOFT'S JAMMY SOD DEPARTMENT has managed to pull off something of a coup with the announcement that it is to form a joint venture to bring Windows 10 to the Chinese public sector.
The country, which has long decried Windows as spyware and even went so far as to announce the opinion on primetime television, has been working on a process it referred to as "dewindowsifying", involving a custom version of Linux specifically designed to replace the operating system.
But the The Wall Street Journal now reports that the company has announced the extension of a partnership with China Electronics Technology Group Corp, a state-owned provider of public sector gadgetry.
The original partnership was announced in September and involved a regionalised version of Windows 10 for consumers, running Baidu as its primary search engine instead of Bing.
But C&M Technologies, as the partnership has been tentatively named, will now also license, supply, deploy and manage Windows 10 Extra Spyware Edition to government agencies and institutions.
The move makes sense for both sides. Getting China to stop using Windows is counterproductive and nigh on impossible in the consumer market, not to mention having the potential to cause significant compatibility problems in international trade.
For Microsoft, it brings the chance of an income stream from the Chinese market where the vast majority of Windows installations are pirated. It is also thought that China is one of the hotbeds of hold outs clinging on to Windows XP, and getting them off the books will have Redmond rubbing its hands with glee.
Yusuf Mehdi, a corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group, said that the new localised version of Windows will include government-approved virus protection software (cough ... spyware ... cough) and will be able to collect feedback from government users to consider for inclusion in future editions.
Windows 10 will remain proprietary, and partnerships like the one being discussed here will come in the form of plug-ins that will form part of the adapted image.
Regulators have yet to decide whether to approve this or not, but it seems like it's the best thing for all parties so the chances are it'll be a thing. Mind you, Microsoft China also gave us a logo for Windows 9, so there are no certainties in this life. µ
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