| SEATTLE/BEIJING, March 17
SEATTLE/BEIJING, March 17 Microsoft Corp
is making its biggest push into the heavily pirated
Chinese consumer computing market this summer by offering free
upgrades to Windows 10 to all Windows users, regardless of
whether they are running genuine copies of the software.
The move is an unprecedented attempt by Microsoft to get
legitimate versions of its software onto machines of the
hundreds of millions of Windows users in China. Recent studies
show that three-quarters of all PC software is not properly
Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft's operating systems unit,
announced the plan at the WinHEC technology conference in
"We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and
non-genuine, to Windows 10," he said in a telephone interview
with Reuters. The plan is to "re-engage" with the hundreds of
millions of users of Windows in China, he said, without
Myerson said Windows 10 would be released globally sometime
"this summer". That is the first time Microsoft has put a time
frame on the release, although it has been expected in autumn,
based on Microsoft's release history.
Microsoft said in January it would offer free upgrades to
Windows 10 for users of Windows 7 or later in an attempt to hold
onto users and make up for lost revenue by selling services such
as Office over the Internet.
Microsoft is working with Lenovo Group Ltd, the
world's biggest PC maker, to help roll out Windows 10 in China
to current Windows users, Myerson said.
It also is offering Windows 10 through security company
Qihoo 360 Technology Co and Tencent Holdings Ltd
, China's biggest social networking company, which will
build a Windows 10 app that will work on smartphones and PCs for
its popular QQ gaming and messaging service. QQ has more than
800 million users.
Lenovo said in a statement that it will make phones running
Windows software, available through China Mobile, sometime later
Microsoft also said it is working with Chinese handset maker
Xiaomi Technology Co Ltd - which generally uses a form
of Google Inc's Android on its devices - to offer some
customers a test version of Windows 10 on their smartphones."
(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Ken Wills)