Microsoft offers free Windows upgrade in assault on China piracy – FT.com

Microsoft offers free Windows upgrade in assault on China piracy – FT.com.

epa04425404 A screenshot of the newly unveiled Microsoft Windows 10 is seen during a preview event in San Francisco, California, USA, 30 September 2014. The new task-view button on the task bar gives you one-click access to all of your running apps and programs. EPA/MICROSOFT / HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES©EPA

Screenshot of Microsoft’s Windows 10

Microsoft is to offer hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers who use pirated software a free upgrade to legitimate copies of the Windows operating system, as it seeks to consolidate its unofficial position as a leading technology supplier to the world’s most populous country.

Piracy has long bedevilled Microsoft in China, where it is estimated that more than 80 per cent of PCs running Windows are using pirated software.

Ironically, however, the illegitimate software has ensured that Windows remains the dominant PC operating system in the country, reducing the risk that consumers would turn to free alternatives such as Linux instead.

That has given Microsoft a foot in the door to one of the world’s most promising tech markets — and a chance to sell its online services and other products — at a time when rivals including Google and Facebook are effectively shut out.

Terry Myerson, head of Windows, announced the giveaway plan at an event in Shenzhen on Wednesday. He also used the occasion to reveal that Windows 10, which had been expected to be released late in the year, would be made available “this summer”.

The free upgrade offer is a smart way for Microsoft to “keep users in the fold,” said Al Hilwa, an analyst at IDC, a tech research firm. Giving away the technology also reflects the fact that the way the company makes money “will ultimately shift to apps, services, content and hardware as opposed to direct OS licences,” he said.

The free copies of Windows 10 in China will be distributed through partnerships with local tech companies, which will be able to use the offer to cement their own relationships with consumers. Microsoft refused to comment on the commercial terms it had reached with these companies, or the precise methods it would use to “legitimise” PCs that have been using stolen software.

 


China abre una investigación a Microsoft por monopolio – BioBioChile

China abre una investigación a Microsoft por monopolio – BioBioChile.

 

WANG ZHAO / AFPWANG ZHAO / AFP

 

Publicado por Alberto Gonzalez | La Información es de Agencia AFP

 

China anunció este martes que está investigando al gigante estadounidense Microsoft por ejercer un posible monopolio en el mercado chino.

“Conforme a la reglamentación legal, la Administración Estatal de Industria y Comercio (AEIC) ha abierto una investigación sobre presuntas acciones de monopolio de Microsoft”, indicó el organismo en un comunicado.

La investigación apunta al sistema operativo Windows, utilizado en la gran mayoría de ordenadores de China, y su paquete de programas Office, según la nota.


Microsoft presiona a China tras prohibición de Windows 8 en computadoras del gobierno – BioBioChile

Microsoft presiona a China tras prohibición de Windows 8 en computadoras del gobierno – BioBioChile.

 

Windows 8 | MicrosoftWindows 8 | Microsoft

 

Publicado por Gabriela Ulloa | La Información es de Agencia AFP

 

Microsoft dijo el martes que mantiene sus esfuerzos para obtener la aprobación por parte de China de su sistema operativo Windows 8, luego de que el país prohibiera su uso en las computadoras del gobierno.

“Nos sorprendimos al conocer la referencia a Windows 8 en esta prohibición”, escribió la compañía en un comunicado.

“Microsoft ha trabajado de manera activa con el Centro de Adquisición del Gobierno Central y otras agencias estatales a través del proceso de evaluación para asegurarse que nuestros productos y servicios reúnen los requisitos legales” exigidos, añadió.

“Hemos dado y seguiremos dando Windows 7 a clientes gubernamentales. Al mismo tiempo, estamos trabajando en la evaluación de Windows 8 con agencias relevantes del gobierno”.

La prohibición de Pekín fue anunciada luego de que en Estados Unidos se presentaran cargos contra cinco miembros de una unidad secreta militar china por supuesto espionaje de secretos comerciales a compañías estadounidenses, lo que sugiere una creciente batalla del comercio tecnológico.


Microsoft blames 'system error' but denies censoring Chinese search results | Technology | theguardian.com

Microsoft blames ‘system error’ but denies censoring Chinese search results | Technology | theguardian.com.

Tech giant denies Bing censorship and puts blame on technical problem but activists say Microsoft’s claims ‘simply not true’

A Chinese language search for 'Dalai Lama' returned radically different results from an English-language search.
A Chinese language search for ‘Dalai Lama’ in the US returned radically different results from an English-language search. Photograph: Utpal Baruah/Reuters

Microsoft has blamed an “error in our system” for producing results on its Bing search engine that appear to censor information for Chinese language users in the same way it filters results in mainland China.

The admission is an embarrassment for Microsoft, which is making a major push to expand its business in China and has just appointed a new CEO, Satya Nadella, who has been a public critic of government surveillance in the US.

On Tuesday, campaigners at FreeWeibo, a tool that allows uncensored search of Chinese blogs, revealed that Bing returns radically different results in the US for English and simplified Chinese language searches on a series of controversial terms, including “Dalai Lama”, “June 4 incident” (how Chinese people refer to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989) and “Bo Xilai”, the former high-flying government official now serving life in prison for corruption.


Bing censoring Chinese language search results for users in the US | Technology | theguardian.com

Bing censoring Chinese language search results for users in the US | Technology | theguardian.com.

English and Chinese language queries for terms like ‘Dalai Lama’ return radically different results on Microsoft search engine

Bo Xilai
A Bing search in Chinese for Bo Xilai, the former Chinese government official, shows different results from an English search. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

Microsoft’s search engine Bing appears to be censoring information for Chinese language users in the US in the same way it filters results in mainland China.

Searches first conducted by anti-censorship campaigners at FreeWeibo, a tool that allows uncensored search of Chinese blogs, found that Bing returns radically different results in the US for English and Chinese language searches on a series of controversial terms.

These include Dalai Lama, June 4 incident (how the Chinese refer to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989), Falun Gong and FreeGate, a popular internet workaround for government censorship.

A Chinese language search for the Dalai Lama (达赖喇嘛) on Bing is lead by a link to information on a documentary compiled by CCTV, China’s state-owned broadcaster. This is followed by two entries from Baidu Baike, China’s heavily censored Wikipedia rival run by the search engine Baidu. The results are similar on Yahoo, whose search is powered by Bing.