After making a complete buffoon of itself over the black screen of death — effectively telling a sovereign nation it had the right to pry into its computers — Microsoft is now saying the company will take a more flexible pricing strategy in China to allow more users to afford genuine software. A marketing technique generally known as locking the stable door when the horse has bolted.
Lin Congwu, a marketing manager of Microsoft China, thanked the National Copyright Administration for publicly expressing ‘understanding and support’ for the company’s anti-piracy efforts. Pure PR bollocks.
He did not mention the millions of bloggers who took to the Internet to condemn Microsoft, its software and its pricing policies.
He said, as it were in rebuttal or apology, that Microsoft would actively consider the pricing suggestions of Chinese consumers.
He said, ‘There is no doubt about whether piracy is right or not. But we can discuss whether software is expensive or not.’ A bit late to take that line.
The anti-piracy move has only increased bitter feelings toward a company perceived by many to charge too much.
‘There’s absolutely no need for such a monster cash cow like Microsoft to take this obviously dramatic step and make itself the No. 1 enemy of most Chinese PC users,’ said Steven Lin, a spokesman for the video sharing Web site Youku.com, in an e-mail. ‘Business/government users are their primary income source in China, how much more can they squeeze from ordinary users who can make on average $500 (3,400 yuan) per month? They’re crazy!’
The administration’s vice-director Yan Xiaohong said the administration ‘understands and supports the rights-safeguarding move taken by institutions including Microsoft’ and then stuck the needle in by saying Microsoft should ‘pay attention to the methods.’
Microsoft launched the “Windows Genuine Advantage” (WGA) and “Office Genuine Advantage” (OGA) tools last week to test the legitimacy of the software in China’s computers. Those whose software failed the tests would see a black desktop or a permanent warning of pirated Office software.
The China Computer Federation has issued a public statement condemning the Microsoft moves, saying the company breached the basic ethics of software developers with the unsolicited remote control of computers.
There is little doubt that this stupidly conceived move will be backtracked, and quickly.
Source: China View
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