Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Microsoft Windows targeted in China anti-trust probe

Otmane El Rhazi from CBC | Business News .

Microsoft

Chinese anti-trust investigators are targetting Microsoft Corp. and its practice of bundling  its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software.

Microsoft has not been fully transparent with information about its Windows and Office sales, Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), told reporters at a briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

The anti-trust probe is part of a China-wide investigation that has zeroed in on companies such as QualComm, Daimler AG and Chrysler.
But the focus on Windows, which is the dominant operating system in China as in the rest of the world, has raised questions about whether China is clearing the decks for its own made-in-China operating system, currently under development.

After Edward Snowden exposed the vulnerabilities of Western operating systems by releasing U.S. government files, China stepped up the pressure on its software and technology firms to develop a domestic alternative.

The new operating system, expected to launch in October, with support for mobile devices landing later, is based on Linux.

The SAIC has raided Microsoft offices in China and accused the company of being unwilling to work with investigators.

"The investigation is presently ongoing, and we will disclose the results to the public in a timely fashion," Zhang said, adding that the probe is one of nine opened this year which include the software, tobacco, telecommunications, insurance, tourism and utilities sectors.

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