Microsoft wraps up special Windows 10 edition for China's government

Makes good on December announcement to partner with state-owned defense contractor

Microsoft has completed work on the first version of Windows 10 designed specifically for Chinese government agencies, according to a report from the People's Republic of China (PRC) last week.

In an interview with the China-based publication Caixin, the head of Microsoft's efforts in the PRC said that the initial version of the special edition had been finished.

The English-language website TechInAsia first reported on the Caixin interview with Ralph Haupter, CEO of Microsoft's Greater China region.

Haupter did not detail the changes Microsoft made for the Chinese government edition, although he alluded to some of the same differences between the consumer and the top-end commercial Enterprise SKU (stock-keeping unit), including a de-emphasis of consumer-oriented features and applications.

In December, Microsoft announced that it would partner with China Electronics Technology Group (CETC) to create C&M Information Technologies to license Windows 10 to government agencies and some state-owned corporations, including those that control energy, telecommunications and transportation.

Under the deal Microsoft struck with CETC, C&M was to be the exclusive licensee of Windows 10, would create custom Windows 10 images for those customers that will include government-mandated antivirus software, and provide activation and update services -- presumably based on Microsoft's current technologies -- as well as deployment services and support.

CETC was an interesting partner for Microsoft, as it is one of 10 state-owned defense contractors. CETC manages scores of research institutes and more than 180 commercial subsidiaries, most of them involved in defense-related research and development, the production of defense and dual-use electronics, or supplying the People's Liberation Army (PLA), government agencies and state-run companies with technology.

Microsoft holds a minority stake of 49% in C&M; CETC controls the remaining 51%.

When it announced the joint venture, Microsoft stressed that it, not the PRC's Communist government, would retain control of the operating system. "We will maintain ownership of the core Windows 10 technology while working, as we've always done, to allow customers and partners to build components that plug into our platform," said Yusuf Mehdi, a senior executive in the Windows and devices group, in December.

Windows 10 maintains a tenuous beachhead in the PRC. According to Baidu, China's largest search provider, Windows 10 powered just 4.5% of the PCs that reached 150,000 websites in the country last month.

Meanwhile, Windows 7 accounted for 51% of the usage share measured by Baidu, while Windows XP, the OS Microsoft retired nearly two years ago, ran 32.9%, or nearly a third, of all personal computers. Altogether, Microsoft's various versions powered almost 94% of all PCs in the PRC during February, a slightly higher percentage than worldwide, according to U.S.-based analytics firm Net Applications.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftWindowssoftwareWindows 10

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?