Microsoft's software has gained acceptance worldwide, but in China the company is losing ground. The Chinese government has adopted Linux as its operating system of choice, and is doing its part to promote Linux and open-source software to the masses. On today's show, Han Naiping (Vice Chief Engineer, CS&S Corporation) and Zhao Xiao-Liang (Senior Vice President, Red Flag Software), part of a federal delegation from China, talk about the reasons behind this decision, including piracy challenges and suspicions that Microsoft is in cahoots with the US government.
There are numerous reasons why China adopted Linux over Windows or any other commercially available operating system. Among them:
* Before joining the World Trade Organization, China had to show that it was doing something to stop its massive software piracy problem. Since open-source software is nonproprietary, piracy is a nonissue.
* The Chinese government is uncomfortable with one company dominating its software market. Prices for Microsoft software are too high for many Chinese citizens, and Microsoft is viewed as an uncompromising bully. China prefers to develop a software market dominated by Chinese developers.
* Some Chinese officials are convinced that having an American government dominate the market compromises national security. Secret security flaws in Windows can be used to access Chinese networks. Officials like to state the discovery of the NSA key in Windows as proof that Microsoft is working with the US government on intelligence issues.