China's Founder agrees to preinstall Windows on more PCs

Microsoft and Founder have expanded a deal to preinstall Windows on Founder PCs, closing a loophole in an earlier agreement.

Founder Technology Group, China's second-largest PC maker, agreed to preinstall Windows Vista on laptop computers and commercial desktops, closing a loophole in an earlier deal with Microsoft that potentially exempted commercial PCs from agreements to preinstall Windows.

Founder and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding during a visit to Beijing by Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, on Wednesday. The deal, which will see Founder preinstall Vista on more laptops and commercial desktops, builds on an earlier agreement to preinstall Windows on Founder's consumer desktop line. Founder will also sell Microsoft hardware, such as mice and webcams, in 35 Chinese cities.

In a separate deal between the two companies, Founder agreed to preinstall Windows Live on its PCs for the next two years. The Windows Live deal comes as Microsoft said Tuesday that the software is no longer in beta and seeks to expand the number of people using the software.

Financial terms of the two agreements were not disclosed.

The Windows installation deal with Founder helps Microsoft in two ways. The software company has long tried to stem China's rampant piracy rates and it wants more users to adopt the latest version of Windows instead of clinging to XP. But whether the agreement yields tangible results in the fight against piracy remains to be seen.

"Piracy is obviously an ongoing and serious issue in China. The question is whether it will ever be eradicated," said Bryan Ma, director of personal systems research at IDC Asia-Pacific.

The earlier agreement to preinstall Windows on Founder PCs helped fight piracy by reducing the number of systems that are shipped without operating systems. The total number of so-called naked PCs shipped by Founder and other Chinese PC makers has fallen as the number of PCs shipped with Windows increased, from 30 percent during the fourth quarter of 2005 to about 50 percent during the second quarter of 2007, Ma said.

The big change came during early 2006, when several Chinese PC makers, including Founder and Lenovo Group, announced plans to preinstall more copies of Windows on their PCs. But that announcement, timed to coincide with a U.S. visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao, contained an important loophole: it only covered PCs sold through retail channels.

The reference to retail sales potentially excluded sales of PCs to companies, which account for around 70 percent of Founder's shipments, Ma said. The latest agreement between Founder and Microsoft appears to close this loophole and reiterate the companies' aim of reducing piracy, he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?