Microsoft chief says China piracy very costly

May 27, 2011
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer introduces the upcoming Windows Phone, which will arrive in China over the next few months, in Beijing on May 24, 2011. Ballmer has said rampant software piracy in China has eaten into his company's revenue in what is soon to be the world's top PC market, a report said Friday.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has said rampant software piracy in China has eaten into his company's revenue in what is soon to be the world's top PC market, a report said Friday.

Ballmer said the world's largest software maker's revenue in China was only five percent of that in the United States, even though in the two countries are nearly equal, the reported.

The comments underlined the challenges faced by Western firms in protecting their copyrights in China, the largest counterfeit and piracy market in the world. The issue has long been a sticking point in Sino-US relations.

Ballmer told hundreds of employees at the company's new Beijing offices that while PC sales in China in 2011 will roughly equal US sales, "our revenue in China will be about a twentieth of our revenue in the United States".

He said Microsoft's revenue per personal computer sold in China was only a sixth of the amount the company gets in India, and that total revenue in China was less than revenue in the Netherlands, a country of only about 17 million.

"We're literally talking about an opportunity that is billions of dollars today" if China had the same level of as India, the newspaper quoted Ballmer as saying.

He rejected the notion that cannot afford his company's core Office software.

File photo of a pirated copy of Microsoft Windows Vista being sold in southern China. Microsoft rejects the notion that Chinese consumers cannot afford his company's core Office software and so turn to pirated copies.

"I'm not saying everybody in China could afford to buy a PC... but if you can, you could afford the software," he said.

Data from market research firm IDC show China is on track to surpass the United States as the world's largest PC market next year, according to the Journal.

PC unit shipments in China are likely to increase 12 percent this year to 71 million as compared with 75 million units in the US, where sales are expected to be flat, IDC said.

A Chinese government-funded survey published earlier this month showed that piracy had cost the global software industry more than $20 billion in losses in the China market last year.

Also this month, the United States said China was making progress on improving protection of intellectual property rights but voiced concern about Beijing's longer term commitment.

It kept the country on this year's "priority watch list" for weak protection of intellectual property rights.

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User comments : 17

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hush1
not rated yet May 27, 2011
Big Brother vs. Little Brother
A Student who does not surpass his Master.
Fails.
epsi00
not rated yet May 27, 2011
how about lowering the price of the "known to be buggy " microsoft software, say $20 a legal copy instead of the $200 we pay now.
jdbertron
1 / 5 (1) May 27, 2011
That's funny. I guess all those other operating systems that don't crash have nothing to do with it.
LuckyBrandon
3.3 / 5 (7) May 27, 2011
@hush1 - more like big brother vs. mass murdering commies...

@epsi00 - the "known to be buggy" software is the beta versions...as a whole, the bugs usually dont exist in software, but in the hardware they utilize (software can only be written to handle memory in so many ways, so if memory doesnt flow as expected, you end up with what you are likely referring to as a bug)

@jdberton - then why is china pirating windows....teh fact is windows is the best OS out there, the only problem is that it doesn't use proprietary hardware in order to a. keep and industry going, and b. keep someone like you with an option to choose Dell, HP, or buid your own computer and still run software that is universal across the planet.
Lets put it this way, if an OS runs perfectly fine and you, lets say, update your BIOS, then windows begins crashing intermittently...what is the cause? I'll give you a hint, its not the operating system, its the hardware (in this scenario, the code update to the hardware)...
Na_Reth
2.4 / 5 (7) May 27, 2011
teh fact is windows is the best OS out there,


LMFAO. i do not even want to reply to that but that is the most moronic thing i ever heard.
hush1
2.3 / 5 (3) May 27, 2011
lol

And I have choosen not reply to:
@hush1 - more like big brother vs. mass murdering commies...
hush1
not rated yet May 27, 2011
Typo correction in CAPS:
"And I have CHOSEN not TO reply to:"

(Which is it? My brain caused typos? English caused typos?)
Na_Reth
1 / 5 (1) May 27, 2011
Nah it was the Chinese pirates.
LuckyBrandon
3.3 / 5 (7) May 27, 2011
teh fact is windows is the best OS out there,


LMFAO. i do not even want to reply to that but that is the most moronic thing i ever heard.


try finding another OS that can go across 95% of the hardware on the market that is useable for a consumer. aside from a couple of flat linux GUI based versions, it isn't there....so yea, I stand by my statement.
imptec
3 / 5 (2) May 28, 2011
I totally support "LuckyBrandon" point of view. I believe its a cultural thing. I have met many Chinese people in my travels, and it is unfortunate that there are "some" that believe pirating software is a "fair game". A game where the other guy "must always lose". I don't know any other company that has influenced my business, any more than Microsoft. To that end, I have no problem paying a fair price for software and consider this a "fair game".

With regards to comments others have made about "buggy" software, I would suggest their opinion is completely obscure. Please consider the millions of lines of code executing, influencing low level hardware, and the dependency on hardware across a variety of brands. I'm certain you're smart enough to realize that due to vast amounts of "process variables" both software/hardware, its not unusual to see "any" OS crash, when the hardware environment is continually changing and out of the "compliance" framework of the software vendor.
hush1
not rated yet May 28, 2011
If the only assumption you make about Nature itself is Nature itself has no errors, then you question the reasoning humans attribute to a property called error.

Instead, you will digress. And ask: What works best for all humans?
You have a psychology that labels this: Conditioning.
Na_Reth
5 / 5 (1) May 28, 2011
I thought conditioner is for girls?
Na_Reth
1 / 5 (1) May 28, 2011
teh fact is windows is the best OS out there,


LMFAO. i do not even want to reply to that but that is the most moronic thing i ever heard.


try finding another OS that can go across 95% of the hardware on the market that is useable for a consumer. aside from a couple of flat linux GUI based versions, it isn't there....so yea, I stand by my statement.

Linux supports much more hardware than windows. And the fact that MS probably payed a few manufacturers to not make drivers for Linux. Besides that, it is not the fault of Linux that the manufacturers dont make drivers for them. And weather they make drivers for Linux or not, does not make Windows a better OS.

That thinking is a fallacy.
hush1
not rated yet May 28, 2011
lol Na Reth. Impeccable. Bow or Curtsy in recognition.
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (1) Jun 01, 2011
@NaReth-I've used both, for many years over (this is what I do for a living)...and yea, Windows is definitely better, both from an ease of use perspective and an infrastructure capabilities perspective.
Granted, it can be a matter of opinion (if you like the command line better, then sure, you'll personally like Linux better--then I would suggest you examine Windows Core editions that are now out), but I specifically stated that Windows is the better operating system due to the fact that it expands across hardware globally. Regardless of how that occurs, that is the fact, there is not a more compatible operating system on the market, period.
J-n
not rated yet Jun 02, 2011
LuckyBrandon: What Distro of linux did/do you use?

As a professional, i understand why we use windows desktops for our users. It's probally what they have at home and what they are used to. Which results in less time training them how to use something new.

Why are our servers Linux servers then?

Because from an infrastructure, security and uptime point of view Linux wins hands down every time.

Ask yourself why not just a majority but a polarity of web servers run linux?

The hardware issues is a funny one. The only hardware that i've not been able to get to run under linux are some very obscure video cards and like devices which aren't very well supported under windows either. I actually own more hardware that works under linux and not under windows than the other way around.
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2011
@J-n - my primary focus is in domain infrastructures, of which all UNIX variations are pretty sad with. Linux does do pretty good with web I agree, and I'm not a huge fan of IIS tbh. To answer your question, Redhat, HP-UX, and for the life of me I can't remember the other (although I'm sure I will after hitting submit)...primarily for integrations with, or collapses into, AD infrastructures, as well as SSO. This typically involves alot of cycling of the boxes on the UNIX based side (depending on the integration being done of course).

I don't think I said anything about hardware issues, I was speaking to compatibility with hardware (and not just servers...also meant desktops, etc). But, I concede that my opinion is largely based on the fact that most people wouldn't install Linux on their boxes anyways (general consumer I'm talking here).