China has always been a tough nut to crack for Western tech companies due to domestic protection policies and heavy-handed governmental controls. Microsoft, in particular, has been at the pointy end of the Chinese government’s attention as China tries to break free from the reliance on the tech giant’s universally dominant software, namely Windows and Office.
Of course giving up on such a large potential market is not an option, and Microsoft’s latest effort in rekindling its relationship China is a joint venture that will increase Windows 10’s adoption in the Chinese governmental sector. The news was announced on the Windows blog.
“Provisionally” called C&M Information Technologies (C&MIT hereafter), the new joint venture is established in partnership with China Electronics Technology Groups, with roots from a previous announcement back in September. C&MIT will exclusively license a custom, government-approved image of Windows 10 to the China’s government and state-owned enterprises, provide related services and supports, and collect feedback to further update the specialized Windows 10 image.
“..this venture signals the possibility for new opportunities for Windows 10 in the many government entities in China.”
Microsoft commands a significant presence in the Chinese desktop OS market, despite not making much revenue out of it due to the country’s piracy situation. On the mobile front however, Microsoft’s market share is all but non-existent, ceding entirely to Android and iOS. As Windows 10 carries Microsoft’s unified vision across all of it current and future platforms, it’s no wonder the company feels the need to push adoption of the OS.
Previous attempts include a partnership with leading social network and gaming service Tencent, internet security giant Qihoo 360, Lenovo, and search behemoth Baidu. With the newest joint venture, Microsoft is tackling one of its key business areas in all countries, which is the governmental sector.
After a brief stint, the softening tension between the company and the Chinese government was seemingly hinted at by President Xi Jinping’s visit to Redmond, where he met with Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates, as well as its current CEO, Satya Nadella, among others. It looks like, step by step, Microsoft is succeeding changing its image in China for the better, and we are looking forward to its further advance in the market.