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The Register: High prices, false steps help Windows lose to Linux in China

Aug 08, 2000, 12:36 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Graham Lea)

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"When Bill Gates was questioned about Chinese support for Linux during an interview with Red Herring recently, he claimed that "our fastest growing server business is in China", which was surprising. Gates was also extremely upset when the interviewer suggested that the Chinese liked Linux: "What the heck are you talking about? I think what you're talking about is that you're assuming that the American does a reliable job in reporting on China. I doubt you read the government's press release... what the press in [the US] wrote and what the facts are is 100 percent different."

"We were intrigued, so we decided to investigate what was going on in the software business in China."

"We found that although Gates has made six sales trips to China, Linux is gaining ground. Graham Brant, Microsoft's general manager for Microsoft Hong Kong, said in May that Microsoft has a "a great market share [in China] but not a lot of revenue". Microsoft software is just too expensive for the market. With Microsoft not being able to ensure that Windows is pre-loaded on most PCs in China, the consequence is that the piracy rate is believed to be around 95 per cent."

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