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June 1, 2006

Microsoft’s China anti-piracy deals paying off?

Posted by David Hunter at 2:30 PM ET.

Microsoft’s gentle anti-piracy diplomacy may well be paying off in Communist China as Doug Young reports at Reuters:

The number of PCs sold in China containing legal copies of Microsoft’s Windows operating system doubled in the first quarter from the fourth, as major vendors joined a campaign to stamp out piracy, new data showed.

Some 48 percent of PCs shipped in China in the three months through March came with legal copies of Windows already installed, compared with 25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to figures supplied to Reuters on Thursday by data tracking firm International Data Corp. (IDC).

The big jump came as the country’s major homegrown vendors, including Lenovo Group Ltd., Founder Group, Tsinghua Tongfang, and TCL Corp., signed a recent series of landmark deals agreeing to load legal copies of Windows onto most or all of their PCs sold in China.

We mentioned these agreements previously ([1], [2], [3]) and except for Lenovo, they didn’t start until April of this year, so perhaps even better news is yet to come. Economic statistics in Communist China have a history of mutability in response to government policy considerations, but the OEMs listed have already paid for a large number of licenses so why wouldn’t they be putting them on machines?

Filed under Coopetition, Founder, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal, Lenovo, Licensing, Microsoft, Piracy

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