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Microsoft Piracy Software Windows

Ballmer Says 90% of Chinese Users Pirate Software 313

Posted by Soulskill
from the forty-two-percent-also-make-up-statistics dept.
jbrodkin writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used the official state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao as an opportunity to complain that 90% of Microsoft software users in China didn't pay for the products. The comments were part of a discussion with Barack Obama and the Chinese president about intellectual property protection. According to a White House transcript, Obama said in a press conference that 'we were just in a meeting with business leaders, and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft pointed out that their estimate is that only 1 customer in every 10 of their products is actually paying for it in China.' Obama didn't detail any specific measures the US and China would take to help Microsoft and other vendors fighting software piracy. 'The Chinese government has, to its credit, taken steps to better enforce intellectual property,' Obama said. 'We've got further agreement as a consequence of this state visit. And I think President Hu would acknowledge that more needs to be done.' Microsoft did not say how it calculated the statistic that 90% of Chinese users aren't paying for Microsoft software."
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Ballmer Says 90% of Chinese Users Pirate Software

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  • by plover (150551) * on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:32PM (#34960178) Homepage Journal

    AN OPEN LETTER TO CHINA
    By William Henry Gates III

    February 3, 1976

    An Open Letter to CHINA

    To me, the most critical thing in the CHINA market right now is the lack of good software courses, books and software itself. Without good software and an owner who understands programming, a CHINESE computer is wasted. Will quality software be written for the CHINA market?

    Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the CHINA market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed Altair BASIC. Though the initial work took only two months, the three of us have spent most of the last year documenting, improving and adding features to BASIC. Now we have 4K, 8K, EXTENDED, ROM and DISK BASIC. The value of the computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.

    The feedback we have gotten from the hundreds of people who say they are using BASIC has all been positive. Two surprising things are apparent, however, 1) Most of these "users" never bought BASIC (less than 10% of all Altair owners have bought BASIC), and 2) The amount of royalties we have received from sales to CHINA makes the time spent on Altair BASIC worth less than $2 an hour.

    Why is this? As the majority of CHINESE must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?

    Is this fair? One thing you don't do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS doesn't make money selling software. The royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even operation. One thing you do do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What CHINESE can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in CHINESE software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are writing 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little incentive to make this software available to CHINA. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.

    What about the guys who re-sell Altair BASIC, aren't they making money on CHINESE software? Yes, but those who have been reported to us may lose in the end. They are the ones who give CHINA a bad name, and should be kicked out of any club meeting they show up at.

    I would appreciate letters from any one who wants to pay up, or has a suggestion or comment. Just write to me at 1180 Alvarado SE, #114, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108. Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the CHINA market with good software.

    Bill Gates

    General Partner, Micro-Soft

    • by PhilipTheHermit (1901680) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:41PM (#34960302)

      George Bush: "Condoleeza! Nice to see you. What's happening?"
      Condoleeza Rice: "Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China."
      George: "Great. Lay it on me."
      Condoleeza: "'Hu' is the new leader of China."
      George: "That's what I want to know."
      Condoleeza: "That's what I'm telling you."
      George: "That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?"
      Condoleeza: "Yes."
      George: "I mean the fellow's name."
      Condoleeza: "Hu."
      George: "The guy in China."
      Condoleeza: "Hu."
      George: "The new leader of China."
      Condoleeza: "Hu."
      George: "The Chinaman!"
      Condoleeza: "Hu is leading China."
      George: "Now whaddya' asking me for?"
      Condoleeza: "I'm telling you Hu is leading China."
      George: "Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?"
      Condoleeza: "That's the man's name."
      George: "That's whose name?"
      Condoleeza: "Yes."
      George: "Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?"
      Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."
      George: "Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East."
      Condoleeza: "That's correct."
      George: "Then who is in China?"
      Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."
      George: "Yassir is in China?"

      Condoleeza: "No, sir."

      George: "Then who is?"

      Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."

      George: "Yassir?"

      Condoleeza: "No, sir."

      George: "Look, Condoleeza. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone."
      Condoleeza: "Kofi?"
      George: "No, thanks."
      Condoleeza: "You want Kofi?"
      George: "No."
      Condoleeza: "You don't want Kofi."
      George: "No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N."
      Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."
      George: "Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N."
      Condoleeza: "Kofi?"
      George: "Milk! Will you please make the call?"
      Condoleeza: "And call who?"
      George: "Who is the guy at the U.N?"
      Condoleeza: "Hu is the guy in China."
      George: "Will you stay out of China?!"
      Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."
      George: "And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N."
      Condoleeza: "Kofi."
      George: "All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone."

    • by sunderland56 (621843) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:52PM (#34960442)
      Dear Mr Gates,

      We like to using your software but it does not go well in Chinese. Instead we have make our own called Red Flag Linux, you can look here:

      http://www.redflag-linux.com/en/ [redflag-linux.com]

      We let anyone use this, for free, we do not need payment.

      Hu Jintao

      Leader of Largest Country In World
      • by Suki I (1546431)

        Actually, that one is North Korean and everybody knows that North Korea is Best Korea! [thesomewhatambitious.com]

      • by Motard (1553251)

        Dear Mr Gates,

        We like to using your software but it does not go well in Chinese. Instead we have make our own called Red Flag Linux, you can look here:

        http://www.redflag-linux.com/en/ [redflag-linux.com]

        Dear Mr. Hu:

        This is Mr. Allen responding, as Mr. Gates is not longer with our organisation. However, we're all pleased to hear that you have found software solution that meets your financial needs and pledge our support in ensuring that your Linux solution is the only free one used in China.

        Our compliance office is currently compiling a list of individuals who appear to be violating your Linux policies by using Microsoft products and suggest a fine of $640/year, payable to Microsoft, for each such violatio

    • The original open letter to HOBBYIST [blinkenlights.com]

      The OP only changed Hobbyist to China. Plus cela change....
  • [citation needed]

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      [citation needed]

      1. Jon Brodkin, Ballmer to Hu: 90% of Microsoft customers in China using pirated software [networkworld.com]. Network World. Retrieved 2011-01-21

    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:50PM (#34960406) Homepage

      I'm your citation.

      As someone who's been to Shanghai for the past 6 years and walked the streets, I'd say it's more than 90% in the public market (mainly on whiteboxes) than an international business working inside china. Not sure about the offices of local Chinese companies however. But wouldn't be surprised to find pirated copies in user share folders too.

      Seriously, you can find a pleathora of XP, MS Office, and Adobe Suite software on a corner street market. Not to mention the un-godly amount of ripped DVD movies and Telesyncs. Some will even sell you entire portable HDDs full of the stuff.

      • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:54PM (#34960474) Homepage

        It's also worth mentioning that most of the pirated software found in China is sold laced with malware. Given all the SPAM and crap coming from that nation, I'd be curious to know the percentage of machine running pirated software constitute being the problem here.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          It's also worth mentioning that most of the pirated software found in China is sold laced with malware.

          Is that a real statistic or FUD?

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It's also worth mentioning that most of the pirated software found in China is sold laced with malware.

          What a coincidence, most of the Windows installs sold legitimately in the USA have that problem as well.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday January 21, 2011 @07:55PM (#34961620) Homepage Journal

        Seriously, you can find a pleathora of XP, MS Office, and Adobe Suite software on a corner street market. Not to mention the un-godly amount of ripped DVD movies and Telesyncs.

        Maybe their unwillingness to bow to the ridiculous "intellectual property" of the West is part of the reason they're doing so well.

        And maybe it's something we could learn from. Apparently, putting corporate profits ahead of everything else may not be the only successful approach.

        You could say that without the profit motive, we'd never get any decent operating systems, and to that I would answer "Ubuntu".

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by bennomatic (691188)
      Here's what he really means: many millions of teenagers, instead of buying their own computers for playing video games go to cyber cafes. Those cafes have chosen to purchase Windows Home Edition instead of something for business. The business version allows for multi-user environments, and the home edition doesn't. So if the ratio of cyber cafe computers to their users is 1:10, then he's counting that as all of the users pirating the software since they didn't pay for the full license.
  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:37PM (#34960238)
    Ballmer: Goddam it Hu, (Throws chair) 90% of the Chinese people are pirating software.
    Hu: Yes, and you see where the problem is, they are using Windows to do it.
    • That's CHAIRMAN Hu! (Score:2, Informative)

      by mangu (126918)

      Traditionally, the title assumed by the leader of China [google.com] is Chairman, not President.

      • by grainofsand (548591) <grainofsand@gm a i l .com> on Friday January 21, 2011 @06:54PM (#34961138)

        In fact Hu has three official titles:

        General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (since 2002)

        President of the People's Republic of China (since 2003)

        Chairman of the Central Military Commission (since 2004)

        • by Locutus (9039)
          there must be a joke in there somewhere about MS saying Linux is communism and Ballmer whining about communists pirating their software. And maybe including Gates comments on how pirating beings more Windows users later.

          and UR history Ballmer.

          LoB
      • by tnk1 (899206)

        Yes and no. The position in China with the most real power is likely the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, which is a position that Hu holds. The position that Mao held was Chairman of the Communist Party of China, but his power simply came from him being the Father of Communist China, as opposed to having any specific position in the government. The reason Mao used and was known by that title was merely that he never held the position of President.

        The President title is actually defined as th

  • Oh Steve, people can make up statistics to prove anything. 14 % of all people know that.
  • So he must know its true. What is so disturbing to me is the notion that some of those 90% users will pay for future releases, keeping MS in business for many decades to come. Its hard to argue with 1.2 billion potential or current users.
    • by I8TheWorm (645702) *

      Yeah, sadly I started my career in MS development on a pirated copy of DOS with a pirated C compiler, then a pirated copy of Windows.

      These days I purchase MSDN subscriptions.

  • by xiando (770382) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:41PM (#34960306) Homepage Journal
    I've seen claims like this from Microsoft numerous times and I have to wonder: Where do they get their numbers? Does Windows dial-back and report if it is pirated or not? Or do they just guess how many computers are sold and compare that to the number of Windows licenses sold? Am I a Windows-pirate because I do not have Windows on any of my computers? How do we know that these people who are supposedly using pirated versions of Windows even have computers?
    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:45PM (#34960354) Journal

      I suspect this would come from Windows Update (which is enabled by default, remember).

      • by Dunbal (464142) *

        I suspect this would come from Windows Update (which is enabled by default, remember).

        Which is the first thing a pirate turns off, remember?

        • Which is the first thing a pirate turns off, remember?

          Why would they turn it off? It still downloads critical security fixes, even on pirated copies. And I haven't ever heard of anyone sued for using pirated Windows, where that information came out of WU.

          I certainly don't recall people disabling WU. If anything, I do remember how, back in XP days, when WGA was just introduced, there were numerous hacks that would let you keep it fully functional despite cracked WGA.

          • by whoever57 (658626)

            Why would they turn it off? It still downloads critical security fixes, even on pirated copies.

            And Genuine Advantage Notifications.

            • Does it still do it for XP? I'm surprised it would be worth the effort to keep updating that.

              • by whoever57 (658626)

                Does it still do it for XP?

                A fresh install of XP does not include Genuine Advantage Notifications, but it will be downloaded and installed on the first update unless blocked.

                • I know. What I meant is - is WGA for XP still being regularly updated to thwart the various cracks that disable it? It used to be the case that a fresh crack was virtually always available a week or so after a new WGA version would come out, but that week would cause inconveniences. But it requires resources to keep working on WGA, so I'm wondering if that's still done, or it hasn't been updated in a while.

                  • by whoever57 (658626)

                    I know. What I meant is - is WGA for XP still being regularly updated to thwart the various cracks that disable it? I

                    WGA != Genuine Advantage Notifications. Related, yes, but not the same. No crack is required under XP for Genuine Advantage Notifications since systems will run perfectly well (including downloading all updates and add-ons from MS) if it is simply not present on a system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The last time they made this claim, they just assumed that every computer sold without an OS, sold with FreeDOS, or sold with Linux installed was sold to someone pirating Windows.

      This claim is silly of course.

      For example, with computers sold to companies, whatever OS is on the disk is usually replaced by a volume-licensed copy of some version of WIndows. Many companies, therefore, will buy these computers with no OS or FreeDOS loaded in order to lower the per-workstation cost.

      I'm sure there are actually a

    • by dangitman (862676)

      I've seen claims like this from Microsoft numerous times and I have to wonder: Where do they get their numbers?

      Ballmer just makes up a number in his head, and goes with it. Seriously, have you seen this guy in action? He doesn't give serious consideration to anything, especially facts.

    • by Locutus (9039)
      they consider every whitebox sold as a pirated copy of Windows because in their minds, without Windows it's useless so they must be using Windows on it if they are using it.

      Microsoft lives in a world of their own design and uploaded to their own holodeck.

      besides that, I also would not doubt many of these systems phone home since, IIRC, the EULA says Microsoft can do this.

      LoB
  • In other news. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Roskolnikov (68772) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:42PM (#34960324)

    Party beliefs are that property is that of the people, really you should only have to buy one copy for all of China, in this case I think they've overpaid, but that could be said for anyone that pays the Micro$oft tax.

  • Month's wages (Score:5, Informative)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:43PM (#34960334)
    Maybe if a single copy of Windows didn't cost an entire month's wages for 90% of Chinese software users they wouldn't pirate it so much.
    • by Waccoon (1186667)

      Gee, you'd think the Chinese people could get better pay for their work so they could afford to buy foreign products.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    US-China trade deals are like a wife swap except the US is the only one that brought their wife.

  • Surprised (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NetNed (955141)
    Surprised Pres. Obama didn't deflect the question with "but we got some pandas in our fancy zoos locked in for 5 more years, so win some lose some".

    Really do you think Obama will push the issue at all? With all the issues the US has with China, the first few days of Hu's visit resulted in nothing but securing pandas for zoos for a few more years. Whoop dee fucking doo!

    If Ballmer thinks anything will be done on this front, he is stupider then I thought.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:50PM (#34960408)

    We compete with people who pay lower costs (legally) for everything from software to medicine.

    Then on top of that, 90% pirate.

    Good lord, no wonder the jobs are going over there. We should fine the hell out of any company selling products in the U.S. which were made by people using pirated software. But we keep those fines for U.S. countries and citizens while giving China a free ride.

    This ends one way.. but it will probably take a few more years to play out.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      My understanding is that China generally gets a free ride in these cases because China holds most of the US debt. We can't afford to make more than token complaints without risking our country's solvency. It's a pretty big stick.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      We compete with people who pay lower costs (legally) for everything from software to medicine. Then on top of that, 90% pirate.

      During the Dot Com Recession almost a decade ago, I ran across a rant from an East Indian programmer complaining that a certain software development kit was "too expensive for Indians".

      I counter-ranted, "You may be the dude who got my programming job because you cost an American company half or less of what I cost. Now you are complaining that you don't get an 'Indian Discount'?

      You

  • No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stargoat (658863) * <stargoat@gmail.com> on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:50PM (#34960412) Journal

    I have been to the crowded Chinese technology markets. They are fantastic places; it feels like Blade Runner or something else out of a Dick novel. Food stalls, people selling every kind of hardware (except the newest), all software everywhere (a lot in English, but most in Chinese), people of every variety (I, a big blond guy, didn't stand out much. If I had hunched over and worn a coat, most people wouldn't have noticed me.), and a variety of tongues. In the hinterland, the best spoken English I found was in the computer markets.

    But if 10% of the non-Chinese produced software being sold was legal, then I am a fool who knows nothing about computers. I would say that number suggested by Ballmer should be far closer to 100%. There was nothing legal being sold in the computer markets, malls, or anything else I saw selling Microsoft products.

    Oh yeah, the place is infested with computer viruses as well. There's no kind of virus like a Chinese virus that western produced AV products don't recognize. If you're going to do business in China, you should do it with a Linux based OS.

    • The only problem with your statistic is the use of an experience in one part of China being to guesstimate how it pans out across the rest of the country. Maybe you're right, maybe you aren't, but it seems like a dangerous way to prove it either way.
  • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:54PM (#34960476)

    Rather than convince its citizens to send billions of Yuan to a US company, maybe the Chinese government would be better served to promote FOSS solutions like (Linux + Openoffice come to mind immediately but I'm sure there are other free/cheap office suites)

    If I were an official in the Chinese government, I'd trust a Chinese forked Redhat distribution combed by loyal Chinese developers a lot more than a closed source operating system from a large US company to keep my secrets safe -- there's no telling what backdoors the US goverment asked MS to embed.

    • Funny you should say that. North Korea has their own national flavor called "Red Star" Linux. God knows, but I'm willing to bet that entire OS is one monolithic backdoor running on silicon. Every keystroke captured and uploaded no doubt.

      Anyways, I wouldn't put it past other command-and-control nations to roll there own Linux distribution as well.

    • by caller9 (764851)
      I know what you wanted to say, but for China Windows has been open source since 2003. http://news.cnet.com/2100-1007-990526.html [cnet.com]

      In fact according to the article, Windows is open source to China among other governments BECAUSE Linux is open source and they were going to switch.

      So when the first real cyber warfare starts happening (Ghostnet, Stuxnet are two that we know about). You'll know its Microsoft greed and our dependence on Microsoft that lost it for us. Selective open sourcing where none of the wh

      • Thats not open source. They have the code so they can verify its behaviour. They can't pass it on to normal users or put it on the internet.

  • by pergamon (4359) on Friday January 21, 2011 @05:57PM (#34960528) Homepage

    I visited MS campus about 15 years ago and at the time they were fond of claiming that the Chinese government was actively pirating MS software for distribution and resale. They even went so far as to say that they owned the equipment necessary to duplicate their holographic license stickers to produce physical pirated copies for resale outside the country.

    • by hackingbear (988354) on Friday January 21, 2011 @08:12PM (#34961734)

      They, like most people outside of China, confused between various level of Chinese governments and state-own enterprises. There is no such thing as one effective Chinese government in China because every low level government and would find ways to cheat the upper ones and every state-own enterprise have ways to cheat on their government too, whenever they find fringe benefits to do so without making a big mess. It is known as "Policies coming down from the top, shenanigans mushroom from the bottom." These entities actively practicing the acts not because it is allowed by policies but because they just want to make profits for their own and nobody crack them down. China is effectively a lot more decentralized and chaotic than the US; and strangely this sometimes give Chinese people a lot more freedom in actions (but not in public speech.) Chinese central government is trying to forge a false image of unity, whereas US politicians are trying to forge a false image of diversity.

  • Seems odd, when you consider things like reviews of the iPad getting dinged because it "can't run pirated software" and the Chinese Android marketplace where malware is being spread to Android devices...

    You'd think that the vast majority of Chinese users would pirate.

    Or is the remaining 10% those who simply aren't detected?

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday January 21, 2011 @06:07PM (#34960656) Journal

    Dear Mr. Ballmer

    We openly admit that it is common practice in this country not to pay MicroSoft's predatory pricing if another avenue presents itself. However, we'd like to assure you that we're getting tired of the damned bluescreens, the most annoying of which occurred at the Beijing Olympics, right in front of God and everybody, if we believed in God, and we have decided to return all of our bootleg copies and what few legitimate copies we could scrape together. The crates should be arriving soon. We will be switching to Linux. We wish your company good fortune and hope you sell many more copies of Windows to the US military.

    Regards,

    China

  • Are glad they invested in that $10 CD library from the vendor on the street corner.

  • by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Friday January 21, 2011 @06:25PM (#34960862)
    No mention of the threat of intercontinental ballistic chairs...
  • Someday people will stop using his software

  • by seandiggity (992657) on Friday January 21, 2011 @06:29PM (#34960914) Homepage
    Bill Gates, 1998: "About 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."
    http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-212942.html [cnet.com]

    Bill Gates, 2007: "It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not."
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article2098235.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

    Steve Ballmer, 2001: "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works."
    "Microsoft CEO takes launch break with the Sun-Times" (1 June 2001) Chicago Sun Times

    Barack Obama, 2011: "So we were just in a meeting with business leaders, and 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. And so can we get better enforcement, since that is an area where America excels -- intellectual property and high-value added products and services."
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/01/19/press-conference-president-obama-and-president-hu-peoples-republic-china [whitehouse.gov]

    The numbers, 2009: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/19/software-piracy-in-china/ [nytimes.com]


    Microsoft wants hegemony in China over free (and freedom-respecting) options like GNU/Linux. It has always viewed piracy as a way to achieve this goal, but it doesn't have any real plan to turn those pirated copies of Windows and MS Office into revenue. Are they changing strategies and trying to muscle China now? Or is the U.S. gov't playing hardball for its own reasons? Or is it all just bullshit sabre-rattling? A real crackdown on Windows bootlegging would almost certainly make GNU/Linux the dominant platform in China. Parts of the Chinese gov't have pushed the Red Flag Linux distro in the past (specifically to avoid Windows licensing costs in Internet cafes), and there has been plenty of talk about the arrogance of Microsoft and the West, along with fears of potential backdoors in Windows. I'm sure the Chinese would prefer to be distributing a homegrown distro rather than having to pay up when Microsoft and the U.S. gov't come to collect.
    • It was a good strategy when there was no strong alternative to windows, but it is much too late to squeeze now.
      MS gambled that pirated windows would keep any competition down until IP laws favoring US were adopted in china.
      Any pressure applied now would just shift chinese users to linux, which would have worldwide consequences for MS and their partners.

      I think its just being used as a bargaining chip.

  • Should have said (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495)
    Chairman Hu should have replied simply:

    "We understand your concerns. However, the Chinese people feel that intellectual property belongs to the people as a whole. It is fundamental to our way of life. As such it is nearly impossible to convince them to pay for something that they truly believe should be free. There are only two solutions. The first is that Microsoft secure their software in such a way that it can not be copied with your express consent. This option has been shown over several decades to be
    • by Targon (17348)

      And the response to that would be, "When the people of China INVENT something for themselves, then they have the right to give it to everyone in China for free. If it comes from outside of China, then the rules of international trade come into play, meaning either individuals in China, or the Chinese government need to pay for it.".

      • by rubycodez (864176)
        and the response to that would be, "why should we pay those who make nothing but claims upon our money? we make real things, and you must buy them because you make nothing. We don't have to pay you, the makers of nothing, and you have no way to make us pay. What would you do, stop buying from us? You can't stop buying from us, makers of nothing.
      • by iggymanz (596061)

        so you've paid your royalties to the Chinese for the paper money and checks they invented, mirrors, glasses including sun glasses, any printing devices you might have, compass....yes?

        oh, you only mean they have to pay for inventions mentioned by documents important to you that were invented recently?

        silly you, they don't have to pay your country's companies a dime, but your country must buy from them or it would collapse.

  • Then you make more profit than you have in the lifetime of microsoft!

  • I would guess its more like 99% pirated.
  • I wish Ballmer had thrown a chair at Hu.

  • by Kaz Kylheku (1484) on Friday January 21, 2011 @07:45PM (#34961538) Homepage

    Windows, and MS applications, could be a lot harder to pirate than they are.

    They are not, because Microsoft would rather have infringing users of MS software, rather than have those users migrate to non-MS software. An infringing MS desktop is still an MS desktop, and MS can count it among their installed base, which works in their favor in all situations when someone makes a pro-MS argument based on installed base.

    They even let infringing users keep Windows dynamically up to date!

    You can't hold the view that all users are welcome, infringing or not, and then at the same time complain about a large nonpaying fraction of your user base.

  • They just don't want to say the real one, probably resembling 0.00001%, because then it would appear that the paying users are a weird minority.

    People will then rationalize continuing not to pay as a way of avoiding joining a weird minority.

  • Someone just downloaded my copyrighted material! I feel myself... fading. Somehow, I can magically tell if someone on the internet broke a copyright law!

  • "Excuse my country Mr. Ballmer (and Mr. Gates), I'll set up a law to ban copying MS software and make people buy it at your prices."

    Following day:
    "CNN reports China developing their own OS (out of FreeBSD... not Linux!), set their own set of open standards, etc... and will set up app stores for people to buy software. Expect release in 6 months"

    After 7 months:
    "Forbes reports top software app store in the US is the china app store (0.01 apps)."

    1 year later:
    MS abandons selling OS software, push
  • Haven't we seen this a few times already? US and China meet and agree to work on IP or pirating and then we hear of more and more Chinese PC makers putting Linux on their computers. Then we hear of a deal between China and Microsoft where Microsoft pays out millions and donates millions of licenses,etc and Windows is back to being popular. The cycle just keep repeating and will billions of potential customers, it'll probably keep on repeating itself until the public says frack it, we're sticking with Linux

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

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