Windows 8 upgrade to be download only in China

If you live in China and want to upgrade your PC to Windows 8, your only avenue will be to purchase a downloadable copy of the OS. Microsoft has confirmed that it won't be selling physical box copies of Windows 8 in that country, unlike here in the US, where boxed copies will still be available in stores for $69.99.

PCWorld.com reports that, according to a statement from Microsoft, "After having talked to many customers, Microsoft has made the decision to simplify the distribution model of Windows in China, by taking all physical Windows media off the market."

This move was likely made to try to at least slow down efforts to pirate Windows 8 in China. The country is pretty notorious for not only being the home of a lot of pirated software but also of a lack of copyright enforcement by China's government. The Business Software Alliance claims that legal software sales generated just $3 billion in revenue in 2011, while pirated software sales are estimated at three times that amount.

Even though Windows 8 won't launch officially until Friday, at least one pirate software store in Shanghai was selling what it called "Windows 8 Ultimate" in a box. The truth? The OS is the release preview version of Windows 8 which anyone can download for free.

Source: PCWorld.com | Image via Microsoft

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