Is the Defiance to Microsoft Justified?

Since launched its WGA pack update against pirated Windows XP users in China, Chinese netizens have shown strong defiance in various ways although a few others also expressed their moral concerns.

For instance, a netizen made this following desktop background with Chinese characters of “absolutely pirated/ voluntary blackout” showing his contempt to Microsoft’s “black screen.”

China Journal has this coverage with more details.

One survey on showed that 86% out of 90,000 people participating say they “won’t consider a shift to genuine Windows because of the crackdown by Microsoft.” [This link, and all following links, are in Chinese.] “We do not stand up for piracy, but against your company for not thinking how the users feel,” wrote blogger going by the name Ling Ge in an open letter to Microsoft.

[…] Others had a bit of fun. Last night, drawn by media reports that black screens were imminent, hundreds crowded the discussion room in, named “black screen countdown,” waiting for the blackout to come. “It’ll be so exciting to have a live broadcast when thousands of computers go black!” wrote a netizen from Guangzhou.

Some preset the system time on their computers to view the blackout, with help from online instructions.

However, some netizens have started debates concerning whether Chinese netizens have any moral grounds to condemn Microsoft. As one blogger writes, in his analysis (in Chinese),  the fact that 80% of netizens opposes Microsoft’s antipiracy effort shows that

1) most Chinese, especially the individual users, are using pirated editions of WIndows;

2) it is still not an easy decision for an ordinary Chinese consumer to purchase a legitimate copy of Windows or Office;

3) Microsoft needs to further decrease its sales prize if it wants to sell more legitimate copies;

4) the 80 percent are shameless.

As he also raises the question, “how can users of pirated editions condemn Microsoft being unkind” considering the fact that they are free to not install the WGA update, and the “black screen” does not really interfere with any normal works their computers perform.  Interestingly enough, he claims although he also installed a pirated edition on his computer, he will not blame Microsoft for any of its antipiracy effort. He would rather just not install the WGA update and continue to use the pirated edition with his mouth kept silent.

For more on Microsoft’s recent attack of piracy, see CDT’s tag on Microsoft.


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