back to article Chinese gov splurges £102 MILLION to replace pirated software

The Chinese government has put its money where its mouth is, spending around US$160 million (£102m) to replace pirated software in central and provincial government offices with the real thing. The outlay comes as part of the second phase of a national plan to stamp out software piracy in the public sector, according to the …


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  1. MacRat

    Open Source

    They should have gone with open source options.

  2. Homer 1
    Big Brother

    "As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours."

    Looks like Microsoft finally managed to make the Chinese pay.

    Pity they ain't so good at paying their own debts.

    But then I guess that's par for the course with a company that operates like drug dealers.

  3. Dana W

    I'm not sure I ever knew anybody who paid for a Windows install. "I won't have it for free" Kind of like Photoshop, I think I saw a licensed copy ONCE.

    1. Don Jefe

      Bullshit. If you're in any kind of financially viable job you've known plenty of companies who paid for Windows.

      My money says you're a 23 year old unsatisfied college undergrad who cant find the jobs your were assured by schooling and somehow expects your 'education' to guarantee you one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My money says

        Alternatively perhaps its a comment on software licensing in China, that being the subject under discussion.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good morning, propaganda Phil.

    "Nevertheless, it’s clear that China now realises taking a tougher line on IP protection is vital if the country is to transform itself into an innovation-driven nation and encourage greater foreign investment."

    Oh, nice bit of propaganda copied verbatim from you-know-where. Only it's a layer cake of bullshit, horseshit, pigshit, and who knows what other shit. As should be easy to see once you give the old brain crank a whirl. Quite apart from the merits of "IP" and its rampant abuse by patent trolls and war chest builders and such, let's stick to the upper layers for now.

    How much is, oh, the UK government including councils spending on licences, say for office software? How much bigger is the Chinese government apparatus? How then, can this spending stack up to that conclusion? You tell me.

    Were I them, what I'd do is set up some apparatus and have it take inventory of everything that isn't quite right, software licence-wise, then roll out their very own Red Flag Linux and matching homegrown-from-FOSS office software. You can adapt a lot of software for a hundred million quid.

    Of course, I'd sell it as complying with international (actually, the US trade department and their sponsors') wishes. They've done comparable things before, you know. Acquiesce diplomats' IP arguments, then turn around and use IP arguments as a stick to hit companies from that same country. "Hey, if that's what you wanted, we can comply."

    Win-win, right? In the Chinese sense, I'm sure.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Damn right. I don't see why China would do anything more than pay lip service to international IP agreements.

      China bloody well knows it has the greatest internal market of the whole planet, and if it starts selling things overseas, it has the rest of the world's debt in its coffers.

      So this is probably just a bunch of PR malarkey.

      Move along, nothing to see here.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    They paid how much?

    Given the figures that get bandied around about UK government licence fees the amount looks vaguely insulting and probably doesn't even cover the installs of a medium Chinese municipality. But it's probably the best Microsoft can expect for the next few years and cheaper than paying lawyers who've got no chance.

  6. Alan Brown Silver badge

    102 mill

    Sounds like the cost of rolling out open source to replace the pirated stuff.

    Then again when you're buying those kinds of quantities, MS might well be happy with $1 a copy vs "sod it, we'll install LibreOffice"

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: 102 mill

      Sure you can roll out some FOSS stuff for $102M but you'll have to spend many times that amount in order to get the rest of the massive govt rolling and ensure full function compatibility. Unless you've got a "brand" reason not to use MS (Google, Apple, IBM, etc...) and massive technical resources available it is usually cheaper to continue using MS products.

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: 102 mill - Alan

      There really is a baseline functionality that MS Office has that can't really be replicated with FOSS and overcome with the simple cost of a license fee especially considering MS products are the largest installed OS and productivity base on the planet.

      In the real business world (which underwrites OSS) market you've got to be able to upload your data in flexible formats like SQL and still be instantly move it into Excel, Word or PowerPoint instantly but with your data still coming live from a server in your multiple locations.

      The (possibly unfortunate truth) is that's it is cheaper to hire MS experienced/trained people vs hire people who communicate in a completely separate language.

      1. wayward4now

        Re: 102 mill - Alan

        Horse pucky. A decent file server doesn't care one one whit what OS is saving to it. So, save the cost of the server-end software and Licensing using FOSS, if nothing else. You don't see Goggle using Win, nor NASA, nor JPL, nor the City of Munich, nor Wall Street, nor most banks, nor CERN using Win either. Somehow they manage to get along just peachy without MS in their pockets.

  7. Eduard Coli
    Big Brother

    Covering backdoors

    I'm sure there is capitulation expected for the PRC to come clean.

    The other benefit is that many of the keygens and crack-ware had back doors in addition to the ones already installed by the OEM.

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