Microsoft Anti-piracy Solution Backfires In China

There’s no doubt that software piracy is rampant in China. Microsoft attempted to remedy the problem with its new version of Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program, which will turn the screen black every hour if the system fails the validation test. Previous versions just notified the user that they were using pirated software. You can imagine this didn’t go over too well with the Chinese, who were outraged by the inconvenience and more than one even accused Microsoft of hacking into their computers. A genuine, unpirated version of Windows costs over 1000 RMB, which is more than most Chinese make in a month. Contrast that with the 5 RMB (less than one US dollar) for the pirated version, and you’ve got a no-brainer.

[via MetaFilter]

66 thoughts on “Microsoft Anti-piracy Solution Backfires In China

  1. Pirates will be pirates and the more ppl try to stop them the better they will get. Everytime someone tried to stop a pirate they would find a way around it or through it. Within a matter of days there will be a crack up and goodbye naggy screen. Microsoft will then trie again and fail miserably. Its jsut a fact of life. No one can do anything about it but flow with it and help the pirates!
    Microsoft fails and Pirates win
    Its just how it goes

  2. i don’t see what the big deal is. Windows is the intellectual property of microsoft, if they wish to produce anti piracy software and implement it, then that is their choice. I personally have no problems with paying for software, if and when i need it. i believe that they should be more agressive with this policy, as it seems that most scams and general bad stuff on the net seem to originate from these countries where piracy is rife

  3. just because you’re poor in comparison to other countries DOESN’T ENTITLE you to a discount. hey i don’t love microsoft and i’m on occasion guilty of downloading but we all know the risk of getting caught and they should just be happy the worst they faced is an irritating black screen. if china wants cheaper software then their great red government should subsidize it for them. windows is still pretty expensive in america so if a poor person here isn’t getting a discount why should anyone else around the world??
    next time the the tech savvy morons should turn their automatic updates off like most people with common sense do.

  4. This is amazing.

    The same country that black mailed Google and others to filter their content cries “fowl” when Microsoft wants to get paid for their software?

    You have got to be kidding!

  5. Wouldn’t it be more convincing if instead of blanking the screen every hour (That is actually bug not a feature – some people install software to do just that to help ensure that they relax their eyes) to crash every hour instead taking with it some random files.

  6. I have been living in China for the past 7 years.

    Firstly, the people in China who can afford a computer are NOT earning less than 1000RMB a month, they are the privileged elite who look down on all the ‘farmers’ that are not as fortunate.

    The people who will be hit hardest are internet cafe owners, who are ALL related to or are themselves government officials, because the ONLY way you can open one of those here is by knowing or being a corrupt government official.

    Most importantly, China will NEVER stop copying/cheating/lying unless they are outright forced to do so, its not related to how much money they have. We are talking about a country that officially sanctions copying popular foreign websites (e.g. ebay) and DNS poisoning the authentic site to force everyone onto the copied site, thats how taobao won over ebay in China, and how Baidu won over Google, I know because I WAS ON THE GROUND WATCHING THE WHOLE TIME. How about the exact replica of an entire Disney theme park? If they gave the money back to the people I wouldn’t complain, but they don’t, it ends up in the hands of the same corrupt officials who give the order to execute or jail dissenters and who don’t give a f**k that 50% of the population still does NOT have running water.

    Now the rich elitist members of society, the kids of the above mentioned leaders [who despise the masses who have never even had the privilege to see a computer or even know what one is] are complaining because they have to pay for something?

    What a joke! They will always complain and try to cheat, even when their earnings double or triple that of the average American. The Chinese who own computers now are earning the PPP equivalent of $3000USD a month, and they are complaining when they have to spend $150 on a real copy of windows simply because they could get it for free before.

    On the flipside, they NEVER contribute to open source initiatives like Linux unless they can see a clear way to make money out of it or someone pays them.

    Good on you Micro$oft, as much as I hate your guts, at least you have shown the bloodsucking elitist Chinese that they can’t keep on getting what they want and crying poor just because 70% of their compatriots are poverty stricken.

  7. @thomas

    “How could the Chinese be so sure that their pirated WinXP doesn’t come with rootkits, botnet, etc?”

    Because they are infected!

    Don’t stick your disk into a Chinese computer, you will get more than you bargained for.


  8. @thomas

    “How could the Chinese be so sure that their pirated WinXP doesn’t come with rootkits, botnet, etc?”

    Because they are infected!

    Don’t stick your disk into a Chinese computer, you will get more than you bargained for.


  9. I just can’t understand this way of thinking.
    1. If you have enough money to buy a computer why is a valid copy of XP not on it?
    2. People running internet cafes and business are making money so they can afford to buy valid copies of XP.
    2 trillion in foreign reserves and highest savings rate in the world but can’t afford XP? Whatever!

  10. In India (where most software is again pirated), it’s like this:

    1. It’s not only the rich who have computers. Most middle class families have a comp.

    2. Most computers are assembled – they cost around Rs. 20,000 (hardware only) which is around one month’s salary for the average computer owner (middle class)

    3. A genuine copy of windows vista in a shop costs Rs. 14,000 on the marker (I saw it myself). There’s no way in HELL that a person is going to give up one month’s salary for something he can get for free.

    4. Most people instinctively feel that by pirating a copy of XP, the world is not a worse place – unlike stealing a physical product. No one has any less money than they started off with.

    5. Personally, I WOULD buy a genuine copy of windows IF the price was around Rs. 1,500 – 2,000. (10 times less than what it is now) – that’s the value proposition in the mind of an India.

    6. For an Indian, the mindset is that it just makes no SENSE to pay more than $30 for something intangible like software.

    This is the mind of a consumer.

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