Microsoft to go after Chinese resellers of pirated Windows PCs

China is perhaps the single biggest country in terms of distributing pirated software and that certainly includes selling PCs with unlicensed copies of Windows. Today, Microsoft stated that 16 resellers of PCs in China were selling computers to customers with pirated copies of their OS.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft vice president Nick Psyhogeos made the accusations during a media briefing in China earlier today. He added that if private discussions with the PC resellers fail to stop them from offering pirated Windows PCs, Microsoft would take legal action against them.

In early 2011, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met with United States president Barack Obama and Chinese president Hu Jintao to discuss Windows piracy in China, claiming that just one out of 10 copies of Windows in that country was officially licensed. At the press briefing today, Psyhogeos said that Microsoft recently bought a number of PCs with pirated versions of Windows and found that 91 percent of them had some kind of malware installed.

While Psyhogeos added that the recently launched Windows 8 would be tougher to pirate than previous versions of the OS, he added, " ... we are aware though that software pirates are smart, and they have a way to react and respond to any technological advancement we might introduce."

Source: Wall Street Journal
Software piracy image via Shutterstock

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16 Comments

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In one way this makes me mad because it makes us File Sharing supporters look bad but on the other hand they are going after someone else so that's good too..

I don't condone Piracy for profit in any circumstances ever, never have.

I've sold naked computers before. It's easier than folks think. You don't need to put an OS on it, or possibly even put linux on it with a lot of goodies that save files compatible with Windows (docs and photos, art programs).

Not really. It depends on who your target market is. Most people want a computer with Windows, one that's already installed and doesn't require too much configuration, installation of drivers or software setup. That stuff isn't hard, but for most people it's too much.

I for one have moved all my computers (10 total) to Windows 8 now that the price is $40. I also have managed to convince customers to upgrade XP for such a low price. Who wants to deal with hacks, malware and activation issues for such a low price......

These are OEM systems. It's financially driven. Either they sell systems with pirated Windows for the normal price and make more money, or they sell pirated ones that are discounted to undercut (or in this case, match) competitor pricing to increase sales.

The price of buying Windows has little to do with it.

91% had malware, not good odds for the consumers in China. What is even worse is that only 1 in 10 are actually properly licensed. I am curious to see if pirating Windows will be decreased now the Windows 8 is cheaper to purchase (for those who use "Windows is too expensive" argument).

DBrandUSA said,
Windows 8 is cheaper to purchase (for those who use "Windows is too expensive" argument).

You still forgetting the most important thing. MS selling its software for same US price all around the world. But in China and Russia incomes are 4-10 times smaller than in US depending on region. Just Moscow (SPb and northern Ural) and Shanghai have 4 times smaller than US incomes. Most Chinese and Russian regions have incomes 7-10 times smaller than in US.

Windows 8 OEM cost 3000 rubles here. That's $90. Not $40.
Windows 8 Pro OEM cost 4300 rubles. That's $140.
Office for Business cost a whopping 8000! rubles. That's a half of my wage. Can you imagine Office for Business to be prices at $2000 in US? Surely level of piracy wouldn't be lower than in China and Russia. Office Professional Plus cost 15000...

If they wouldn't finally rethink their approach in pricing policy and would start selling Office for Home for $10 and $15 for Business in Russia and China then piracy would go away.

I call BS on their numbers !

False positives and hacking / cracking tools and keygens and patchs are NOT malware !

If i did a scan with M$ Security Esentials i bet i would have a summary at the end claiming i had 100's of virus's lol
Nothing ticks me off me than security software taking my cracking tools or stealing my archive of warez lol

Haha yeah, I was thinking the same.

Most AV software will detect cracks and keygens as malware, even if they're safe. MSE detects some Office and Windows cracks as malware, so yeah their numbers mean little unless by "malware" they mean "tools we don't want you to use".

Greetings from China. Thanks for all the money and please keep sending all your jobs over this way. You keep tweeting your facebook while we keep working. Pity you can't keep Obama for 15 more years....