Reuters reports that the first big state dinner of Peoples Republic of China President Hu Jintao’s upcoming visit to the USA will be at Bill Gates’ lakeside mansion. There are details of the menu and guest list by following the link, but here’s the nut:
Like any good dinner guest, President Hu will not come empty handed. The Chinese government issued a decree two weeks ago that all PCs will need to have a licensed operating system software installed before leaving the factory gates in an effort to crack down on piracy.
As a result, three Chinese PC manufacturers announced plans to buy a total of over $400 million worth of Microsoft Windows operating system software over the next three years and Lenovo Group, China’s largest PC maker, is expected to announce a similar deal on Monday, organizers said.
We’ve mentioned the three Chinese OEMs who have already signed up previously (, , ) and Lenovo rounds out the set nicely. The real question is what, if anything, the individual parties gave up to do these deals and whether it will have any material effect on Microsoft OEM revenues in China.