Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Microsoft Takes the Fight to China - Not Politically Correct?

Since when is it wrong to protect your intellectual property? That's what MS is being accused of in China. Where 82% of all software is pirated, the Chinese have the nerve to accuse MS of being unfair to users. They even blame MS because the software is too high priced.

This is patently unfair especially since the US has been battling China for years on the rights of US companies to their intellectual property. Add CDs & DVDs to the list and the cost to our economy becomes staggering. See article below.

Microsoft accused of hacking in piracy clampdown
  • 14:10 22 October 2008
  • news service
  • New Scientist staff and Reuters

Across China thousands of computer screens are turning dark. The reason is a piece of software from a US firm.

Software giant Microsoft is deactivating unauthorised copies of its Windows operating system, in a nation where 82% of all software is pirated – even if many end users do not know it.

The deployment of Windows Genuine Advantage in China has sparked outrage from computer users all over the country. If a validation test is failed, the software changes the desktop background to a black screen every 60 minutes and displays constant warning messages.

Some users fear that their data is at risk because the package can disable some Windows features. The package has been used in many other parts of the world for several years, but was only enabled for Chinese language systems this month.

Dong Zhengwei, a Beijing lawyer claims in the China Daily that Microsoft's action could even be illegal under Chinese law. He calls the company the "biggest hacker in China with its intrusion into users' computer systems without their agreement or any judicial authority".

Zhengwei is one of many that say the crackdown unfairly harms users unable to know if the software they bought was genuine. Others claim Microsoft's high prices are responsible for the problem.

The software giant defends its use of the program, saying its goal is to "help our customers to determine (if) genuine software is installed on their computers," Microsoft told Reuters.

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