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Microsoft Setting Up Joint Venture To Sell Windows 10 To China Government

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Microsoft revealed new details on a plan to team up with a Chinese partner to hasten the adoption of Windows 10 in the Asian country.

Microsoft said that it will be setting up a joint venture with state-owned China Electronics Technology Group, a provider for technology used by both the civilians and military.

The CETC, one of the 10 state-owned agencies in China that are in the defense sector, manages many research institutes and over 180 commercial subsidiaries mostly involved with defense research and development, the production of electronics and supply of technology products to state-owned firms, government agencies and the People's Liberation Army.

The joint venture, tentatively named C&M Information Technologies, will have Beijing as its base and will be tasked to license, release, provide and manage Windows 10 technical support for state-owned institutions and government agencies, according to Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Windows and devices group.

Mehdi added that the joint venture will hold the exclusive rights to licensing a specific image of the Windows 10 operating system for Chinese users which include features such as antivirus software that would be chosen by the government.

The joint venture will also be collecting feedback coming from government users for versions of the Windows 10 image that will be released in the future.

Microsoft, however, will be retaining ownership of Windows 10, and while the company is not planning to make the security of the operating system weaker, it will continue with the policy of allowing users and partners to create add-ons for the software.

Microsoft has been active in seeking partnerships with China, one of the major ones being a deal with search engine giant Baidu. The company, along with many technology providers from the United States, is looking to expand more into the lucrative Chinese market.

While the Microsoft software is already widely used in the country, the ones used are often pirated copies which do not lead to revenue for the tech giant. Lately, Microsoft even faced a probe from the Chinese government on its software distribution practices and a ban from a procurement center which prevented government agencies from purchasing computers that are pre-loaded with the Windows 8 operating system.

The issues being faced by Microsoft were made worse because of the allegations of whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security agency contractor, who claimed that products imported into China were being used for spying purposes.

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