infused with Chinese intrigue
Dina Bass reveals how Microsoft adapted Windows 10 for the Chinese authorities:
qTell me about the new version of Windows 10 for China.
aIt’s actually for the Chinese government including the Chinese customs agency and the city government of Shanghai. This version of Windows 10 lets the government use its own encryption on its computers. The government can also remove features it doesn’t want like the OneDrive file-sharing service. The software is available only for government use and won’t be sold to any other Chinese customers, Microsoft says.
Why did Microsoft need to do this?
Operating in China has been something of a minefield for US technology companies. Some are blocked, Microsoft is facing an antimonopoly investigation and in January a law took effect that requires telecoms and internet companies operating in China to provide law enforcement with technical assistance, including decryption of sensitive user data, in any investigation meant “to avert and investigate terrorist activities”.
So does this customer version of Windows fully comply with the company’s values?
Yes. The product is the result of two years of work by the company and the Chinese government to resolve an impasse in which the government, citing security concerns, has refused to use either Windows 8 or Windows 10, blocking a key source of Chinese revenue for Microsoft.