A tailor-made version of Windows 10 from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been approved by the Chinese government.
When Microsoft launched Windows 10 in 2015, it was hard to penetrate China because of the country’s strict laws. Companies often have to custom-make their products to suit the authoritarian requirements of the Chinese government, and Microsoft is no exception. The company has revealed a new version of Windows 10 that has been tweaked to meet those strict requirements and the version has already been approved by the government.
The Chinese Windows 10 is known as Zhuangongban and was announced by Microsoft China CEO Ralph Haupter. The version was created through a partnership with a Chinese defense firm known as CETC, which is operated by the State, so it has censorship control if needed. Not much has been revealed about the new product, but the company stated that the consumer apps available on the Chinese version of Windows will be different from those available in the initial version of the product.
The company has also not yet revealed what level of control Chinese users will have over surveillance and privacy issues. However, the government’s involvement suggests that it will want to keep a close eye on users, and, therefore, users are most likely to be given little power over privacy.
China is a great market for users because of the huge market for technology and rapid adoption. It is, therefore, an important target market for Microsoft as far as the company’s products are concerned, and the compliance from the Chinese government points to more opportunities. Nevertheless, the company has revealed little information about its efforts for internet freedom on the matter.
Yusuf Mehdi, the vice president of Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, stated in December that Microsoft would retain ownership of the core Windows 10 technology, but developers would be allowed to create components that would operate in line with Windows 10. The company began working on the Chinese version together with CETC in September 2015, and their operations are based in Beijing.