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China Censorship Communications Government Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Releases a Version of Windows 10 For the Chinese Government (techinasia.com) 90

Tech In Asia reports that Microsoft has completed their Windows 10 Chinese Government Edition, citing Caixin magazine's interview with Microsoft China's CEO. "Haupter told Caixin that it features fewer of Microsoft's consumer-targeted apps and services," the site reports, "while including more management and security controls, in accordance with the needs of China's government." It was back in December that Microsoft first announced their plans for this joint venture with the Chinese government. While Windows is popular in China's fast-growing market, "piracy of Microsoft's software runs rampant," reported PC World, adding that "in order to actually make money from Chinese consumers and businesses, Microsoft needs them to pay up." Update: 03/28 18:12 GMT by M : Slashdot understands that this supposed special edition of Windows 10 is not ready for the rollout yet.
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Microsoft Releases a Version of Windows 10 For the Chinese Government

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  • Lo and behold! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Sunday March 27, 2016 @09:15PM (#51789703)

    Interestingly, Microsoft is also producing a version of Windows 10 for the US Government featuring "fewer of Microsoft's consumer-targeted apps and services while including more management and security controls" in accordance with the needs of the US government (I know, I work for the DoD). I'm sure that they will, for a fee, do the same for large corporate clients.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well I hope someone puts up a torrent of the damn thing. The only way I'd even remotely think about ever using Windows 10 is if I had the same copy DoD considers secure enough to use.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, it's just a simple modification really: change the ip address of the server that receives the telemetry to the DoD servers, and not disabling the telemetry itself. I don't really see how this would make You consider using it.

      • by Shoten ( 260439 )

        Well I hope someone puts up a torrent of the damn thing. The only way I'd even remotely think about ever using Windows 10 is if I had the same copy DoD considers secure enough to use.

        Because a pirated copy of software you downloaded via Bittorrent couldn't possibly be trojaned, and must be safer than what's been implemented by hundreds of millions of people (and tested/RE'd by thousands, if not tens of thousands)?

        Yeah, that's good thinkin'.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The version of Windows 10 in the US allows data collection by Microsoft and the US Government. The Chinese version will appear to also include control by the Chinese Government.

      • The version of Windows 10 in the US allows data collection by Microsoft and the US Government.

        Of course there is no proof of the last part of your comment.

        • You do realize the telemetry data collected and sent back to the mothership in Windows 10 contains everything and the kitchen sink from your system, so to speak. This includes all memory dumps, a copy of your current registry, and a complete list of all files on the system (and any attached storage). I also suspect that there is a mechanism that waits for you to decrypt a filesystem if you're using Truecrypt or similar and capturing the file names from those data shares as well.

          I don't know if you've actual

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      Is that the same as Windows 10 LTSB (long term servicing branch), which has fewer gewgaws, and is intended for the enterprise, because it has fewer things that can break or be compromised?

      • Is that the same as Windows 10 LTSB (long term servicing branch), which has fewer gewgaws, and is intended for the enterprise, because it has fewer things that can break or be compromised?

        Someone is really not getting the hang of what the governments want. Hint: it is not fewer things that can break or be compromised.

    • I'm sure that they will, for a fee, do the same for large corporate clients.

      If they're already developing an alternative version with fewer embedded apps and more management features, why can't they just make that available to people? Why should we need to pay a separate bribe to Microsoft, above and beyond the licensing costs, to get a product that's already been developed?

      • I am just guessing here... Firstly, we have been witnessing a slow but steady erosion of Microsoft's Windows in the marketplace. The once-dominant OS has had to compete against Linux, OS/X, tablets and so on, all of which provide the OS free of charge. Microsoft can no longer charge watvever they like and get away with it... Of course, the other aspect not widely discussed relates to Piracy, which we are told remains a major problem. This is an issue if Microsoft expect to be paid for every copy of Window
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft will be adding more and more advertisements to Windows 10 and the only way to get rid of them will be to pay a subscription.

    • Chinese Government: Could you turn down the built-in government backdoor spying access? This much kind of disturbs us.

  • I'm no fan of Windows myself, but the company I work for creates software for Windows and has clients in mainland China; I've checked my work MSDN account however and there's nothing there. Is this actually available yet?

    It'd be quite handy to be able to test against this, especially considering how wonky oldskool Windows software stacks can be sometimes with varying versions of Windows and character sets (the company I work for is only just now in the process of migrating away from depending on MediaView f

    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @09:53PM (#51789863)

      What do you bet there's part of this agreement that requires Microsoft to NOT make it commercially available to anyone but PRC government-approved customers.

      This would provide whatever nominal security-through-obscurity value not having easy access to it would provide (admittedly small), but it would also give the Chinese government monopoly control over who could develop software for it. For all we know, it could have a built-in whitelist-only capability that only runs applications and drivers with signed with PRC keys.

      And it's probably only available in Chinese language editions, too.

    • I'm no fan of Windows myself, but the company I work for creates software for Windows and has clients in mainland China; I've checked my work MSDN account however and there's nothing there. Is this actually available yet?

      This is for the Chinese government, not the Chinese consumer.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        So you are saying that the government of China will be quite content for their employees to use Windows anal probe 10 at home instead of WindowsSE 10 because they don't care if employees accidentally leak information at home, yep, uh huh. So if various governments say Windows anal probe 10 is not safe enough for them to use, why exactly do those governments think it is safe enough for their citizens to use, why is that allowed to happen. This is blowing up fast and will do a lot of damage to M$ and corrupt

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        This is for the Chinese government, not the Chinese consumer.

        And no one is expected to develop software for the Chinese government?

  • "in order to actually make money from Chinese consumers and businesses, Microsoft needs them to pay up."

    Wow... Hard to recall a truer statement on /. ... Congratulations, team!

  • Sounds like something closer to the version M$ should have made in the first place. If they won't sell it to me, I trust Chinese hackers will be offering a free version soon!

  • All they needed to do is to change some ips to point the stuff to the chinese government servers rather than microsoft ones.

  • including more management and security controls

    EUPHEMISMS!

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @10:51PM (#51790125)

    Now there are two versions of Windows 10.

    One watches everything your type and listens in on your conversations with the microphone, sending the information to a shadowy information gathering operation.
    The other ships with the UI already set to a two-byte character language.

  • a decent version of Windows for desktops.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They did, it was called Windows XP. After that every version has been worse than its predecessor.

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      I'm running it now, it's called Windows 7.

  • by khz6955 ( 4502517 ) on Monday March 28, 2016 @12:19AM (#51790365)
    "Haupter told Caixin that it features fewer of Microsoft's consumer-targeted apps and services .. while including more management and security controls, in accordance with the needs of China's government."

    If you don't want the Chinese Government or Microsoft telling you what to do with your own computer then move to Open Source Linux. Ubuntu [ubuntu.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Chinese government spying version or the evil Megacorp spying version for a European?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB

    A special release that lacks a lot of the undesirable stuff and what remains can be disabled completely with Group Policy Objects(GPO) or registry changes. Hs controllable updates and is not part of teh bleeding edge feature roll out channel and has a stated 10 year support guarantee.

    It is the Windows 10 that you had hoped for, but It is by far the most expensive Windows version ever!

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