Microsoft's Office 365 finally launches in China

Microsoft launched its Office 365 software subscription service in June 2011, but the world's biggest country in terms of population, China, was not among those countries that got access to the service. That finally changed this week as Office 365 became generally available in that part of the world.

In a post on the official Office blog, Microsoft said that Office 365 will be operated in China locally by 21Vianet. Even though the service launched in that country just this week, a number of major customers have already signed up to use Office 365, including the government of Shanghai. The blog stated:

Led by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information, different departments of the Shanghai government explore the advanced productivity capabilities provided by Office 365 operated by 21Vianet in order to improve efficiency and build a service-oriented government.

The launch this week follows Microsoft Azure, its cloud-based server service, becoming generally available in China in March. Both launches show that the company is making big investments in the country and that will likely continue for some time to come. Additionally, there are rumors that the Xbox One could go on sale in China in the near future.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Specs of Motorola's budget Android smartphone Moto E leak

Next Story

Microsoft Research reveals Holograph, brings 'Star Wars' Leia hologram to life

5 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Weren't the Chinese irritated with XP's end of support and blustered about not using foreign software any more?

Romero said,
Weren't the Chinese irritated with XP's end of support and blustered about not using foreign software any more?

In short, no. One official said something about Win8 possibly being too expensive for most to upgrade to, and how that might affect piracy.

Then the statement was translated, put into tiny soundbite-sized headlines, reposted a bunch of times, and eventually morphed into, "China wants MS to extend WinXP support."

After reading your post, apparently it's being remembered as "Chinese irritated at end of WinXP support", plus something about foreign software.

Watching news getting distorted is kind of fascinating.

Kyang said,
Then the statement was translated, put into tiny soundbite-sized headlines, reposted a bunch of times, and eventually morphed into, "China wants MS to extend WinXP support."

After reading your post, apparently it's being remembered as "Chinese irritated at end of WinXP support", plus something about foreign software.

Watching news getting distorted is kind of fascinating.

Huh, I must have misread all those articles then. You know, the ones quoting the absurd ranting of the official Chinese State media, such as this one for example: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/a...state_media_slams_microsoft (free registration required, else see here: http://i.imgur.com/JIkdz8q.png )

In an April 8 article published prominently at the top of its website -- an area usually dedicated to chronicling Chinese President Xi Jinping's activities -- state-run news agency Xinhua slammed Microsoft's decision as "extremely irresponsible behavior" that "shows a lack of trustworthiness," warning the move would imperil "Internet security as well as the future of Microsoft." The screed claimed that the end of XP puts China in an "awkward position" because "much of the operating systems are controlled by foreigners." It is also an occasion for "China's domestic operating system to rise to the challenge."

Missing from the article is any mention that an estimated 90 percent of Chinese Microsoft users run pirated versions of the software, according to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in 2011 -- and pirated Windows XP never depended on security updates from Microsoft to protect against cyber threats. Xinhua's headline article may have overlooked this fact, but users of Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, a place where counter-narratives to official media often thrive, have not. "I use a pirated version," confessed one user, "and I really have no standing to ask Microsoft for anything."

Are you honestly suggesting every single foreign website mistranslated what Xinhua said, or that everything I wrote was a result of Chinese whispers?

Romero said,
Huh, I must have misread all those articles then. You know, the ones quoting the absurd ranting of the official Chinese State media, such as this one for example: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/a...state_media_slams_microsoft (free registration required, else see here: http://i.imgur.com/JIkdz8q.png )

Are you honestly suggesting every single foreign website mistranslated what Xinhua said, or that everything I wrote was a result of Chinese whispers?

No, just that your original question seems to come from an understanding of Chinese statements based on someone else's interpretation, and the original intent is lost.

For example, if you read the original Xinhua article that FP is quoting, it just says something like, ending XP support spurring local industry could be one positive. (It's definitely a cheeky statement.) FP translated this as Xinhua saying, "It is also an occasion for "China's domestic operating system to rise to the challenge." But both are a far cry from, "blustered about not using foreign software any more".

Nothing is drastically "mistranslated" (And I never said it was.) Just subsequent reprints take quotes from the original, and layered in different articles with different author's intents (Not necessarily malicious), and meaning gets shifted (And even then, not necessarily intentionally.)

My post was just a remark on that process.

Yes, I don't know Chinese so I was relying on translations, but none of the sites ever seemed to suggest anything different from what FP said. I'm glad I can finally ask a Chinese speaker about the nuances though. Did the unambiguous-sounding comments about "extremely irresponsible behavior", "lack of trustworthiness" and the warning that ending XP support after 13 years would "imperil the future of Microsoft" sound absurd in the original Chinese too or did the translators imbue them with different meanings as well? Because to be honest that does sound an awful lot like "Chinese irritated at end of WinXP support" to me (which, combined with the piracy rates there does make the complaints seem hypocritical and even farcical).

Edited by Romero, Apr 21 2014, 2:22am :