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The Standard: Microsoft's Man in Beijing [and Linux in China]

Jul 17, 2000, 15:13 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dominic Gates)

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"Lee is effectively Microsoft's goodwill ambassador to Beijing, where the Windows operating system faces a growing challenge from Linux and where the company is often regarded as a greedy imperialist force. In an effort to establish good faith, Lee's research lab is sharing technology and working to incorporate software into Windows that will make computing easier for the Chinese."

"Though Windows, in both legal and pirated forms, dominates the desktop market in China, cost considerations make Linux a potential threat. Government agencies have sponsored the development of homegrown versions of the open-source software, including Red Flag Linux. "The economic incentive to use a free operating system is huge," says Cliff Miller, chairman of San Francisco-based TurboLinux, one of the largest Linux distributors in China."

"For the Chinese government, one attraction of open-source code is the perception that a proprietary American system promotes foreign domination. Microsoft has had to vehemently deny rumors of a "back door" hidden in the Windows code that supposedly gives U.S. security agencies access to sensitive information held on PCs."

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