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The End of Naked PCs in China?

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-didn't-know-they-even-bought-software dept.

221

fishter writes "The Chinese Government is calling on PC manufacturers to ensure that a properly licensed operating system is installed on their products before they leave the factory. One manufacturer has already signed a deal with Microsoft to install its operating systems on all its personal PC products. The edict would also apply to foreign manufacturers supplying PCs to Chinese companies and residents."

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221 comments

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John Maddog Hall (1, Offtopic)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112751)

Well, I guess now only 4.5 billion people haven't choosen their operating system.

John Maddog Hall-Priorities (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112835)

"Well, I guess now only 4.5 billion people haven't choosen their operating system."

Of course being able to chose one's OS is sooo much more important than being able to chose one's government. Glad you all have your priorities straight.

Re:John Maddog Hall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112900)

Well, more like 4,499,999,986 now that Apple users can run Windows

Re:John Maddog Hall (0, Troll)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113033)

To whoever modded down my comment. Don't mod what you don't understand. My comment was on topic. John "Maddog" Hall commented once on how there were only 500 million computers in the world, so that means 5.5 billion haven't choosen their operating system (implying Linux could take that market). My comment was meant to be funny.

Re:John Maddog Hall (1)

Bad Boy Marty (15944) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113442)

Can some lawyer-type please explain to me why/how this is not prima facie evidence of a massive violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (other than that the victims are not in the US)?

Frankly, my opinion is that it should be illegal to bundle an OS with hardware -- for a general purpose computer (don't waste your breath arguing about embedded systems).

The Physical Install (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112755)

Well, I haven't had the chance to read the exact Chinese wording but if I were a vendor looking to sell naked PCs, I'd simply use a superior OS [berlios.de] .

That's right, simply burn 17MB CDLinux ISO (with Chinese language [berlios.de] support) to a CD and "install" the disc into the CD-ROM drive. When the computer boots up, it will have a properly licensed [gnu.org] operating system running. Should the consumer choose to install some other operating system *cough* *cough* they won't even need to format the hard drive or write over the partition tables!

Seriously, I think this is just a laughable edict that the Chinese Government has done to bolster trade with United States software firms. The factories in China are just going to distribute Linux or some other free operating system and even have instructions on how to install windows over it. The government knows this also and that's why it's happy to comply with something the US companies are asking it to do ... because it doesn't change anything. It just makes manufacturing boxes a bit more cumbersome.

Who knows, if the manufacturers use a nice enough version of Linux, they might cause quite a few people to convert?

Re:The Physical Install (4, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112815)

You must be new to The People's Republic.

Their government doesn't take too kindly to wise-asses getting around the intent of the law. Enjoy your gulag!

Re:The Physical Install (5, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112851)

the intent of the law

The intent of the law is that Hu Jintao won't feel embarrassed when he has dinner at Gates' mansion next week. Once he's finished his jaunt, no one will care what you do any more. Also China does have its own officially sanctioned OS, Red Flag [redflag-linux.com] which all true Party members should use.

Re:The Physical Install (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112909)

But the Chinese are offering a hollow concession, whilst laughing behind our backs. How is this going around the intent of the law ?

Re:The Physical Install (2, Interesting)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113047)

Just because the government doesn't intend to follow the law doesn't mean they'll let the peons do the same. "Do what I say, not what I do..."

Re:The Physical Install (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112938)

Who knows, if the manufacturers use a nice enough version of Linux,

Or rather they would get millions of calls with people saying, my new computer won't install (insert common software product here)...

Face it, Windows is the default. Not because it is forced on us (well partly becasue it WAS forced on us) but becasue it is the standard for PC operating systems.

Re:The Physical Install (1)

Linegod (9952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113075)

Or rather they would get millions of calls with people saying, my new democratic official won't overrun (insert common marginal political/religious sect here)...

Face it, Communism is the default. Not because it is forced on us (well partly becasue it WAS forced on us) but because it is the standard for governments.

Re:The Physical Install (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113217)

Ummm, that made no sense.

I don't see the paralell. One is a PC operating system that most people are happy using, or at least happy enough to not bother switching, and one is a form of goverment, (which by the way is a wonderful ideal just near impossible to achieve)

Can you explain a bit?

Thanks.

Chinese Linux on CD? No... (0, Flamebait)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113378)

Chinese Linux on CD? No...

    At only 17 Megabytes, join the 21st century. Put the whole system on Flash EEPROM instead of a BIOS chip. Put the 'standard' Bozo BIOS on the Flash in a manner that it appears 'normal' on power-up, but have an option that if any key is pressed, the Chinese Linux boots on power-up.
    Then promise Gates anything, sign any contract or treaty, do whatever these dinosaur Americans need to keep them within their illusion that they still control the world, and ignore them in the real world.

    Physical PCs running Linux OS is the real world in the lands outside of the region where Microsoft has managed to bribe enough politicians to give it the illusion of legal control. Inside those regions, however, the PC community remains SOL and hostage to Microsoft's fantasies.

That's Communism for you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112757)

What did you expect from a Communist country? Of course they're going to ensure everyone respects each others intellectual property rights and attempt to curb piracy!

Er, wait..

Re:That's Communism for you! (-1, Troll)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113134)

What did you expect from a Communist country? Of course they're going to ensure everyone respects each others intellectual property bla bla bla
What did I expect from an Anonymous Coward?

Re:That's Communism for you! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113461)

Fuck knows. You tell us, what were you expecting? A cock up your ass? All I can see is that you stopped reading right before the important part and totally failed to get the joke. I bet you're a fucking riot at a party.

Doesn't mean it has to be Windows (5, Interesting)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112761)

I don't see anything in this that precludes pre-loading of OS's other than Windows. They just need to be properly licenced. A copy of RedFlag Linux for example should be perfectly acceptable.

I hate the way this whole 'naked PC' thing is painted as purely a piracy issue. We just bought 10 Workstations from HP that come with WinXP Pro and no way to buy them without despite the fact that they are intended as Linux machines and HP advertises them as fully Linux compatible.

So what's the point then? (1)

blcss (886739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112839)

Why bother to require a licensed OS except as a deal to benefit Microsoft?

Re:So what's the point then? (3, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112880)

Why bother to require a licensed OS except as a deal to benefit Microsoft?

That IS the reason. Same reason Hu is buying a fleet of Boeings. They've got a huge pile of US dollars and have to spend it somehow, and handing it over to high-profile US companies helps to keep the US trade protectionists off their back.

Re:Doesn't mean it has to be Windows (5, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112881)

"I hate the way this whole 'naked PC' thing is painted as purely a piracy issue. We just bought 10 Workstations from HP that come with WinXP Pro and no way to buy them without despite the fact that they are intended as Linux machines and HP advertises them as fully Linux compatible."

You actually bought the machines purely for the Windows didn't you? You love Microsoft, and you love Windows, it's best to confess, you don't want something to.. you know... happen to your home machine's Automatic Updates, now do you?

- B.G.

But it does... (5, Insightful)

dwandy (907337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112914)

I hate the way this whole 'naked PC' thing is painted as purely a piracy issue.
It's all marketing.
I remember hearing once that McDonald's marketing goal was to make your dinner decision be the question: "McDonalds: yes/no?" as opposed to "McDonalds / Burger King / Taco Bell / ... ?" because they basically have a 50/50 shot at that answer, as opposed to sharing the odds with the others.
So what Microsoft is trying for here is to convince everyone that the only alternatives are 'piracy' and 'purchasing Windows'. By denying that other choices even exist they push them down in the mindset of the audience, (conversely by adding say Linux in the mix, they legitimize it)

It's the old "Are you still drowning kittens?" question, either 'yes' or 'no' paints you as a monster, when in reality you've never done any such thing.
Formulating questions and answers that go together is what marketing is...

Re:But it does... (0)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112979)

Them: Are you still beating your wife?

Me: Mu.

Jaysyn

Re:But it does... (0)

stonefoz (901011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112990)

only 50/50 of the kittens drown, the other half just sink.

Re:But it does... (4, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113192)

Actually the kittens exist in a 50% "drowned", 50% "sunk" state until you open the box.

Re:But it does... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113256)

Don't the Chinese have a word, "mu," that basically fits in next to "yes" and "no"? I believe it means, "You're an idiot for asking that retarded question." (That's a rough translation.)

Definately not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112924)

The chinese government isn't doing this to promote Windows. They're actually promoting something else. [com.com]

The power of a monopoly (0, Troll)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112765)

That is amazing. I knew that Microsoft could influence governments, but whoa, this is too much.

Although China may have it's own verions of Linux to install, and that is what they are doing.

I wonder if you have no hard drive on the naked pc if that is still a computer. This is just totally weird.

Re:The power of a monopoly (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112827)

That is amazing. I knew that Microsoft could influence governments, but whoa, this is too much.

Exactly. My first thought was a Vader-esque "Impressive... most impressive..."

The power of a slashdot post. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112905)

"That is amazing. I knew that Microsoft could influence governments, but whoa, this is too much."

Most conspiracy theories are. I have a genuine Area 51 UFO for sale. Any takers?

Re:The power of a slashdot post. (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113029)

I have a genuine Area 51 UFO for sale. Any takers?

I'm sure the Chinese would be happy to by classified experimental aircraft from the Air Force.

This could be a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112766)

The difference in cost of a linux pre-installed PC would be enough to raise sales for them. Even if pirated windows will be put on them next. Linux numbers will go up riding the MS Pirating machine.

Unless microsoft gives away windows for a near free price...

Here are a few sugestions (0, Flamebait)

Kilz (741999) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112767)

The chineese computer manufacturers could hold down costs by installing Linux or freedos. Im sure M$ wouldnt mind. :)

Naked PCs? (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112769)

Wang, Bush, Dick... *snicker*

Anyway, what's the difference between a naked PC and one with Linux installed? Either way, a pirated version of Windows will be installed on the disk eventually.

Who's next then? (-1, Flamebait)

SpeedyGonz (771424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112778)

If M$$ could strongarm (persuade?) China into doing this, this pretty much says they could do it anywhere else. I don't want to pay for M$$ when all I want is a Penguin.

Red Flag Linux (5, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112781)

Well, of course, a "properly licensed operating system" doesn't have to cost money. I'm guessing they will just install linux, probably Red Flag Linux [wikipedia.org] .

Some could even see this as an attempt by the Chinese government to increase Red Flag usage over pirated (American) Windows.

Free Software? (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113350)

a "properly licensed operating system" doesn't have to cost money.

I'd like to know what it really requires. Suppose my free software distribution does not have serial numbers for "accounting"? It would not be surprising for a country that throws people into jail for visiting the wrong web site to then force one rooted distro or another on everyone. Red tape is mostly about ending freedom.

That's what I've always thought (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112784)

...the Chinese people are stupid. They install Windows on their computers.

as if this will have any effect on chinese piracy (5, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112793)

I've had coworkers from China. They say that the piracy over there is just ignored. For example, just like you can go and buy a hotdog or a newspaper in a 7/11 here, you can buy a "copy" of whatever you want software-wise over there. It's so bad that requiring an O/S is like holding back the ocean with a broom, it will make absolutely no difference. I'm not just talking about making copies of some existing software, I'm talking about full-scale organized piracy as an industry. It goes far enough that you can even buy DVD's of movies there before the movie is released in theaters over here (not camcorder-made either) !

Re:as if this will have any effect on chinese pira (4, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112833)

you can even buy DVD's of movies there before the movie is released in theaters over here (not camcorder-made either) !

Geez, you would think that having the dvd presses in China and paying the workers peanuts would amount to a very tight supply chain.

Episode III: Backstroke of the West! (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112885)

It goes far enough that you can even buy DVD's of movies there before the movie is released in theaters over here (not camcorder-made either) !
That's right! And these editions also have professional English subtitles [za.net] ! Perhaps I should order a copy of X-Men III right now?

Re:as if this will have any effect on chinese pira (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112887)

It isn't piracy if it isn't illegal, right?

Re:as if this will have any effect on chinese pira (2, Funny)

jmacleod9975 (636205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113158)

Then it is privateering.

Re:as if this will have any effect on chinese pira (5, Interesting)

Boxy Brown (965046) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113099)

I can't speak for China, as I've never been there, but in Thailand, you can go to the mall and find stores (actual stores, not booths) that have nothing but spindles upon spindles of CD-Rs with 'pirated' software. The disks go for the equivilant of $5 US and probably cheaper if you're Thai. It's quite an interesting thing to see.

Re:as if this will have any effect on chinese pira (2, Insightful)

trollable (928694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113123)

Insightfull? I'm talking about full-scale organized piracy as an industry.

There is no piracy in China (since there is no copyright*).
This is just legal business.

*not the same copyright laws and no convention etc. I don't know the details.

Re:as if this will have any effect on chinese pira (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113142)

What you see as piracy is seen as something positive by me, I hope we can get to China's level of copyright neglecting standpoint.

Re:as if this will have any effect on chinese pira (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113485)

I worked for a company that did (still does) security holograms. Some of these puppies layer up to 24 seperate security features onto a single repeat (about 1 - 2"^2). When the head of the hologram dept went to China for a seminar, they (the Chineese govt) basically insisted he tour the new hologram lab at one of the Beiging (sp?) universities. Sure enough they were proudly displaying one of the security holograms we had made along with their clone of it. 3 months later Customs was finding authentic looking security holograms on counterfit goods --- wonder where they came from?

what justification? (4, Insightful)

misfit815 (875442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112804)

What's the selling point for this when it comes to Joe User? How does Microsoft or China or whoever justify to the consumer that forcing OEM's to bundle an OS with each product is a good thing? Btw, I'm throwing out any anti-piracy argument because I think that sells to corporations, not users.

I'm asking because I don't think there is one. And if there's not one, then this plan of attack is succeeding for other reasons. My guesses are:

1) Joe User doesn't know/care what's going on
10) China isn't a democracy (to put it plainly)
11) Microsoft can bully OEM's

Am I right? Are any of these ever going to change?

China vs United States (0)

AppleTwoGuru (830505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112949)

China is Communist. United States is "supposed to be" Democratic, but I would say in action it is more what I understand to be Capitalistic.

With George Bush and the republicans in power, what is there difference between them now? Sounds like what Microsoft does in the U.S. (bullying OEMs) is perfectly fine with the Chinese government and cohesive with their philosophy, is it not?

So is the U.S. Democratic, or are is it Communist where it decides it will be? I guess the U.S. is free to choose to be Communist, eh? So much for Reaganomics and the Cold War. The U.S. is losing it's Freedom it so valiently faught for over the past 200+ years with blood of our ancetsors and today's family.

Re:China vs United States (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113104)

I don't think "capitalism" and "communism" mean what you think they mean. The word you're looking for is "plutocracy". The US is a plutocracy.

Re:China vs United States (1)

AppleTwoGuru (830505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113341)

Thank you. You know, in my entire academic career, from Kindergarten to college, and even now, I have NEVER heard that word to describe the governemnt of the U.S. I think we ought to start using this word and teach it to our kids. I will talk to the local principle of the elemetary school about this. And I am almost 40.

Re:China vs United States (1)

AppleTwoGuru (830505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113459)

Then maybe China is also headed that way. Maybe that is the way we have always been headed, just that no one wants to follow a Plutocracy. I guess anything will work, even Communism (as in the former U.S.S.R.) as long as the leadership has control over the people.

What constitutes a "computer?" (3, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112809)

Will the Chinese still be able to buy parts and slap them together, or will they be forced into buying a hard drive with an OS already installed? What if you have everything but the hard drive, and plan to simply run it off a CD? How about a dummy terminal? There has to be a line drawn somewhere.

It's pretty simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112824)

You're complicating it past reason.

If you can plug it in, turn it on, and use it without any extra features like a special CD OS image or a network connection, then it is a computer. A box with everything but the hard disk is just computer parts.

Re:It's pretty simple (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112947)

You're simplifying it past reason.

If there's no operating system installed, you can't just plug it in, turn it on and use it. So it's just computer parts. Yet this is exactly the thing that they're supposed to be stopping people from selling.

Why not if it is free! (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112812)

If that license comes for free, it is ok, no question on this.
If it is not, everyone should be able to claim money back from that license! (This one is an old battle)
Of the two I'd prefer the first one, because 80% of the people would like to be able to turn on the PC and start using it without any further delay.
The issues come only for the remaining 20% people that would like to install a different OS, not necessairly by a different manufacturer!

In any case my own dictionary call this as "freedom constraint", which can be normal in China, but should not in the USA or Europe.

Re:Why not if it is free! (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113402)

Of the two I'd prefer the first one, because 80% of the people would like to be able to turn on the PC and start using it without any further delay.

And how is a law forcing computers to be sold this way the answer? If most users really did just want to "turn on the PC and start using it", this is already an option for OEMs without requiring a law. OEMs could simply provide a choice, "OS or no OS preinstalled" ... the free market is far far better than using laws to force something, in fact, almost by definition if you have to force consumers to buy something it probably wasn't what they would have chosen otherwise.

What about the Dragon//goodson processor? (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112813)

So I guess that this means that the Dragon/goodson processor is DOA now.

Re:What about the Dragon//goodson processor? (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113013)

Why? It is a MIPS and has nothing to do with normal (x86) PSs.

Re:What about the Dragon//goodson processor? (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113152)

Yeah, but if China is cow-towing to this, would they kill the dragon/godson processor for personal PC's?

Obscene PCs (1, Funny)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112816)

Well Good!

Nakedness is evil, it is unnatural and the work of the devil.
Hasn't Church taught you anything?

Re:Obscene PCs (0, Offtopic)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112950)

Weren't Adam and Eve naked? At least for a while.

LK

Going right off-topic (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113001)

I am God ...try prove otherwise!

Has anyone ever taken you up on your request to masturbate you mentally?

Re:Going right off-topic (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113487)

I can easily disprove his claim, since I am God. Don't test my wrath!

Need new mod - Funny Troll! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113003)

Funny Troll! mod is definately needed for post like these.

Ferengi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113185)

Personally, I fancy the Ferengi custom of keeping their females naked...

All your base are belong to us! (0, Flamebait)

TheSpatulaOfLove (966301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112819)

So THAT's what the Gate Foundation is about. They flat-out bought China! Not to worry - the military will be run on Windows, so we can count on the BSOD.

DOS rulez (2, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112821)

In Beijing, where bootleg software is the norm, now PCs come with a surplus, legal (possibly) version of MS DOS 6 installed [shanghaiist.com] . It just measn that for a while the bootlegs will be under the counter instead of in the shop window.

What next? (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112822)

Will governments decide that all cars must be sold with properly licensed tires on them? Maybe DVD players should be sold with properly licensed DVDs to play in them.

Yeah, I get the point, and I can see how this 'should' help MS and others fight piracy... one day, these people will wake up and see that pirates simply don't care and are going to use illegal copies of things anyway. This is why F/OSS has a strong advantage over MS .... no lobby money needed per se, no court costs needed for fighting pirates, no money needed to influence governments... wow, when you think about it, I wish F/OSS groups were given the equivelent of what MS has spent lobbying courts, governments, and other groups and entities. That should give us all a very nice OS.

Re:What next? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113048)

"Will governments decide that all cars must be sold with properly licensed tires on them?"

When was the last time you saw a new car for sale without tires? And in the US I am pretty sure that they do have to be DOT approved. I am sure most countries have some approval process for tires as well.
Where is the -1 for false analogy?

Will they let MS spy on them (2, Interesting)

MECC (8478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112823)

So, will this mean that the Chinese government will officially let MS spy [slashdot.org] on them? This would certainly help. I can't imagine the chinese government being at all comfortable with that prospect. You'd think they'd develope their own distro with wine already set up to run those windows apps they'd think there to be a need for.

Might not be a bad thing (1)

bhalter80 (916317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112838)

While I object to the notion that you must bundle things in order to sell them. I think that having OEMs bundle any legitimately licensed OS with the box may cut down on piracy.

With growing pressure from the US and other countries around the world about their lack of IP controls this may be more of a benefit than one would think.

My only concern would be a forced tie in with a non-free vendor. If they are allowed to bundle any OS this may really help the likes of [k]Ubuntu.

Its probably nothing. (5, Insightful)

yeOldeSkeptic (547343) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112848)

At the end of TFA is the statement

The Chinese president is due to meet US president George Bush later this month when issues of piracy, counterfeiting, and intellectual property are expected to be raised.

Something tells me this is one of those Chinese Government edicts that will be largely ignored once Mr. Bush leaves China.

The Chinese President is certainly not in the mood to discuss Microsoft's Intellectual Property Rights when there are more pressing matters to be discussed with the US President. He'll just point to the edict and politely say that the Chinese Government is already taking steps to address problems of piracy. Then he'll quickly change to another topic as soon as he is able.

Hu Jintao visiting US (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113275)

Something tells me this is one of those Chinese Government edicts that will be largely ignored once Mr. Bush leaves China.

Hu Jintao is coming here [iht.com] . Addressing software sharing is one of the few visible things he can do that will cost him nothing. Currency revaluation is what he is desperate to avoid. Why the US sees fit to give this guy a victory lap I'll never know.

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15112874)

The GPL is a license... Chinese manufacturers should just ship their Red Flag Linux as the default on each PC. Why would any company strike a "deal" with MS when shipping Linux wouldn't raise the price of their PCs?

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113107)

"Why would any company strike a "deal" with MS"

Um, because it's what the customers want?????

Re:No problem (1)

Sheltem The Guardian (940038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113446)

Customers want cheaper PCs to install pirated Windows on them.

MS shooting feet (5, Insightful)

mlewan (747328) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112879)

MS may actually shoot themselves in the foot here. A large portion of the PC buying Chinese public is very price sensitive. The vendors are therefore more likely to install Linux by default, which people then can overwrite with pirated Windows.

However, quite a few people will probably keep the default OS out of laziness, if nothing else, so Windows will loose market share. Until now, there are a fair number of Chinese internet sites (and software) that only work with Windows, but if enough people will use the default Linux system, those sites will have to adapt. This will make it even less attractive to install pirate Windows.

So, how will this hurt MS? They don't get any money worth talking about from the Chinese market today. Their problem is that if a large portion of the Chinese start using Linux, international web sites that sell to the Chinese, will also have to adapt to Linux. And that means that Linux will be a more viable alternative for the international public too.

This may be wishful thinking, but I think there is a fair chance that this scenario will take place.

Re:MS shooting feet (2, Insightful)

Zphbeeblbrox (816582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113371)

Not only that but if the linux market share in China rises could this mean possibly lower amounts of spam coming from that area? I wonder how much spam coming from china is from improperly patched hacked copies of windows running and how much is from actual malicious chinese spam rings.

Naked PC's??? (1, Funny)

Keill (920526) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112890)

I guess that'll help with the the overheating then? Dunno about dust though...

What about PC's that don't come from a factory? (2, Interesting)

AusIV (950840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112933)

Does nobody build their own PC in China?

Re:What about PC's that don't come from a factory? (0, Offtopic)

iogan (943605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113026)

I don't know about China, but I do know that in Soviet Russia, Computers Build YOU!

Oh well (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113002)

I buy my computers piece wise anyways. It's the best way to go if you know what you are looking for, and assembly is just a pasttime hobby of mine.

This will make it just slightly harder for businesses to use illegit copies of Windows (Which is what this all really boils down to) - the armchair software pirate will continue to rip off Microsoft, because their DRM is no more robust than the OS it was meant to protect.

Evil Empire, meet Evil Empire. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113011)

Seems MS has found a Nation that is compatible with it's own totalitarian tendencies.

Whoa... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113030)

The Chinese Government is calling on PC manufacturers to ensure that a properly licensed operating system is installed on their products before they leave the factory. One manufacturer has already signed a deal with Microsoft to install its operating systems on all its personal PC products.

China is even worse than America!!!

Chinese Gummit Strength... (1)

Machina Fortuno (963320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113045)

Anyways... my point being.

The Chinese government has plenty of reasoning to go towards a single OS (or only a couple), because of it's ever-so-popular censorship. The problem with a bunch of Linux boxes floating around is that it is harder for the Internet Police to track them. Yahoo, Cisco, MS, Google... these being the big tech industries that have caught heat for bending towards the powers of the Chinese government

Of course we all know about the Yahoo thing... ya know, that journalist imprisoned in China because Yahoo lent a helping hand to the Internet Police. Google filters their search engines (search Tianamen Square in China and you get some very different results) heavily to abide by the Chinese governments guidlines (do no evil... but wait, help China oppress? nah!). Cisco provides much of the hardware used by the estimated 30,000 government internet police. And well, I don't think I have to try hard here to convince you guys that MS is doing their fair share of bending over, for the cash...

Regulation is on the Chinese governments priority list. If they can guarantee that there isn't anything un-monitored going on out there... add another tally for communism.

I don't think the Chinese government could honestly give two shits about whether systems have illegal copies of Windows on them. I just see this as another step in their complete control over the media. The Great Firewall of China

Wrong title... (1)

asciimonster (305672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113058)

Hmm. I think the title should read: "Microsoft tax now also applies to China"

The fact that the Microsoft tax exists comes down to the companies fearing liability and consumers don't caring.

How Dell does it (4, Informative)

SWroclawski (95770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113083)

I think this is why when Dell sells a computer without an operating system (their N series), they ship it with FreeDOS.

That's a legal operating system. It comes with a CD of FreeDos and a printed copy of the GPL.

I don't think the end comes (1)

zzztkf (574953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113101)

The reason is simple. Without significant discount, M$ OS and other mainstream product is still too expensive for average cosumer, and I guess even for luxury consumer.

Earning $1000 is still quite decent even in Beijing, capital of ROP and one of the most rich area in the countory. $1000 in china is almost equivalent to $10,000 in US from my feeling.

If I were one of them, I feel quite painful to pay more than $100 just for OS. Some people will and can choose Linux as alternative, however, most of other don't even know what is linux.

Until the day when prices drop hard enough or majority of people become aware of linux, naked PC hardly ends.

Trade Deficit... (1)

moosehooey (953907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113136)

We buy all kinds of cheap stuff from China, and they're a big part of our trade deficit. I'm sure everyone hates this, but we need some kind of export to China. IP is one of the few things the US is good at anymore.

That'll change nothing (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113178)

so they'll buy PCs with linux installed and then install pirated copies of Windows... that happened there before...

Re:That'll change nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113395)

just wait till every HDD that comes out of a factory will have windows pre-installed.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113306)

OS installs you!

In Soviet China.... (0, Offtopic)

pedalman (958492) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113346)

PC licenses you.

IBM/Lenovo? (2, Interesting)

brother bloat (888898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113349)

Now that IBM/Lenovo is a Chinese company, does this apply to them as well? How many computers/parts are actually made in China?

If you don't vote Libertarian It will happen here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113413)

Micro$oft has the Republicrats and Democans in their back pocket. So if you vote republicrat and democan in the next election, shut up and go sit on the sidelines, as you will have no room to complain.

_________________________________________________
A vote against a Libertarian candidate is
a vote to abolish the constitution itself.

Naked PC's? (1)

AMindLost (967567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113434)

I like my hardware as well as the next slashdot reader but Naked PC's? Surely that taking internet porn too far?

fir5t?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15113463)

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Arrogance (1)

OverflowingBitBucket (464177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113472)

From the article:

This mirrors comments from Microsoft, which has long criticised sales of "naked PCs" as helping pirates.

More arrogance from MS, even in the face of there being multiple perfectly good operating systems to choose from. Just because a sold PC doesn't include a purchase of their OS doesn't mean it is guaranteed to have an unlicensed copy of it installed instead.

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