back to article Mr Ballmer goes to Washington for China pirate gripe

Big name bosses at 12 tech companies are meeting with US lawmakers and White House officials to complain about illegal software copying in China. According to the Business Software Alliance lobby group, 79 per cent of China's computers ran on counterfeit software in 2009. "We were seeing progress over a number of years... but …


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  1. The BigYin

    Easy way to reduce that figure

    Switch them to Linux. It will cost the same (not much at all really; my guess is most people over there are pirating as they can't afford the equivalent UK£100 for a bare OS), they'll be legal and everyone will be happy. Isn't this what Mr Ballmer wants? Them to be running legal copies of software? So will Mr. Ballmer suggest this? :oP

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ..are already addicted to 'Doze. "I don't want to learn Gimp, I want to continue to use the stolen Photoshop" is the standard answer.

      "Also, Linux certainly runs PowerPoint and WinZip ??"

      1. Graham Wilson

        GIMP - Get the facts right please!!

        "I don't want to learn Gimp".

        Get the facts right please. Gimp is a lame dog when compared with Photoshop, only a fool or someone ignorant of the facts would make that comparison.

        Gimp's developers might be familiar with image processing algorithms but they've absolutely stuff-all idea about how to speed up its memory (image) management. In Photoshop, preview is hardly needed as the main image updates almost instantly, in Gimp we have painfully slow screen redraws that are 20 to 100 times slower than the equivalent function in Photoshop. To a Photoshop user, Gimp's ergonomics are such that it is essentially unusable.

        No one more than me would like to see truly effective competition to Photoshop, but on just about all quantitative measurements Gimp isn't even in the same league.

        Gimp's poor performance is one of the primary reasons users cite for not using Linux.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        RE: lUsers

        > "Also, Linux certainly runs PowerPoint and WinZip ??"

        One word: Wine.

        Also, I can't imagine why anyone would want to use WinZip when 7zip is clearly superior in terms of compression (and is free to boot).

    2. Quxy

      ..or just report truthful numbers

      Yawn. Every time Microsoft has trundled out their "counterfeit software" complaint in the past, it's turned out that their "counterfeit" figure includes ALL PCs not running licensed copies of Windows. You actually see a fair bit of Linux desktop use in China, so my guess is that this 79% figure is again padded to include non-Microsoft operating systems.

    3. Graham Wilson

      There's nothing wrong with Linux except it's going nowhere!

      There's nothing wrong with Linux except it's going nowhere!

      The world works on Win32/64 APIs, that's the fact. Until there's a competing O/S that runs them as well and as transparently as does Windows then the price of Windows will remain outrageously high. That's how monopolies work, it's always been this way.

      The Linux fraternity has consistently been blind to this for years. It's this zealot-like blindness that's kept Linux wallowing in sub-1% figures from its beginning and it will keep it there.

      If the Linux fraternity were really serious they'd modernize Linux by converting it to Win APIs and then better Windows by bolting on a proper database authenticating filing system that's in keeping with the needs of the modern world. Linux's filing system is just as arcane as Windows if not more so, thus in real usability terms Linux offers no advantage over Windows other than incompatibility and inconvenience.

      When users are prepared to pay hundreds for Windows over 'free' Linux then you don't have to be Einstein to know there's something very wrong with Linux.

      Linux devotees should stop bellyaching about Windows and modernize their now very antiquated operating system to properly compete with the Microsoft juggernaut. By out competing Microsoft with better and more forward O/S technology they'd do the world a real service instead of just increasing the background noise.

  2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Gates Horns

    Don't do as we do, do as we say...

    So it's OK to get iPads made by somebody who gets $140 a month, and then they object when the same people copy their software.

    This is just "the market sorting it self out"

    (for commentards that don't understand, these companies seem to think that the market solution is to get high tech product made by low paid slaves for sale to high pay westerners and HUGE profit margins, and then complain when the low paid slaves want the same)

    Any evil icon will do...

  3. paulc

    bring it, bring it on...

    remember, Microsoft are making all sorts of bluster about Chinese piracy, but they would far rather the Chinese pirate Windows & Office, than have them switch to Linux and/or OpenOffice...

    Expect them to get the Chinese to enact a law stating that computers can only be sold with an operating system pre-installed and that in order to claim tax rebate on it for depreciation, it must be commercial software... they won't do it themselves, but will get their goons, the BSA, to do it for them while hiding behind the BSA front... They're currently trying this scam in the Czech Republic:

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Feldmarschall Krake

    Many peasants from rural China are happy to work for 140 dollars, as they made much less on their tiny piece of land before.

    Low wages are a natural stage in the development of any country into an industrialized nation. Was the same in South Korea before. Now they are easily as wealthy as Europeans.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Low wages are a natural stage in the development of any country etc

      Quite so. It is essentially the same practice as buying land and/or slaves in Africa for worthless coloured beads. Some people just don't get the Free Market!

  5. Rogerborg

    Careful what you ask for, Fester

    Let's imagine a world with fifty million Chinese patent-trolls putting in 16 hours a day. Sauce for the goose...

  6. Dest

    China is not going to enforce a capitalist law

    Remember, China is a Communist country even if they give the appearance that they are not.

    They don't care in the least about software patents and intellectual property rights even if they may pretend that they do.

    The only thing that these companies who are complaining stand to gain is loss of market share when trying to push the Chinese around.

    The Chinese don't regard the coping of software as being anything but a victimless crime at the most.

    Here is a good example of just how much respect the Chinese have for intellectual property rights.

    And guess what, they don't care what the capitalist west has to say about it.

    As far as the Chinese and Linux is concerned, they are rapidly moving to Linux because they don't trust Microsoft, imagine that.

  7. Goat Jam

    I truly hope he gets what he wants

    The sooner MS gets a 100% effective DRM scheme working the better if you ask me.

    I for one would love to see all those Chinese peasants being forced to pay full price for their windoze hit.

    As for those that can't afford to pay the piper, then they can just suck it.

    Or look elsewhere for alternatives of course.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    China makes the rules

    In Anglo-Saxon nations the industry changes government policy; however, in nations like China, the government policy controls the industry. From the events in the past decade, I'm convinced that no lobby is likely to affect Chinese policy whether in the shortterm or in the longterm. If the lobbies want to make real money(which is probably all they care about anyway), they've no choice but to kow-tow to Chinese policies and modify their business practices to survive in China.

  9. Graham Wilson

    The question is how does Microsoft know those piracy statistics with any accuracy.

    The question is how does Microsoft know those piracy statistics with any accuracy, especially in a country such as China.

    These vendors are either guessing and this latest upsurge of anti-piracy activity is part of the usual noisy rhetoric from this mob or it’s the spyware within M$ Windows etc. that's giving them exact figures.

    My bet is on the latter. On evidence that's seeped out over the years, it seems that Microsoft et al collect much more information than just piracy figures. It's time we knew much more about this, if for no other reason than it secretly further advantages their monopoly.

    Competitors expect to play on a level playing field.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Microsoft and piracy?

    I am a big try before you buy person. I am not into piecemeal restricted trial versions etc... And I also want a substantial trial time, or to be rephrased into my term, I want the time I feel is appropriate, to evaluate the software, before I decide to buy it.

    A friend gave me a copy of Microsoft Office 07, I installed it, I trialled it, and now the CD's sit in the bottom of a land fill.

    Goodbye Microsoft - for you and your idiot cash cow upgrade rebranding of shit products.

    I can't Imagine that the people in China would be wanting much of MS's software after 2003 either.

    As for Steve Ballmer and his paid for Washington spin doctor lobbiests....

    Fuck them. I am not buying their products or their bullshit.

    I hope the people in China go full time nationally into Linux, and only serve it up for the retard westerners who are dumb enough to keep on being spoon fed Microsofts crap.

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