back to article Tired of Windows 10 phoning home? Maybe the special Chinese govt version is for you

Microsoft is now ready to roll with a version of Windows 10 designed specifically for the Chinese government, it has emerged. Back in December, Microsoft and China Electronics Technology Group Corp (CETC) announced they were setting up a Beijing-based joint partnership called C&M Information Technologies. The new organization …

  1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Microsoft or the Chinese government.

    Not sure who I trust the least.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Microsoft or the Chinese government.

    Microsoft, that is quite clear.

    The Chinese government WILL spy on you, but if you have nothing of interest to them, you are 100% safe.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, will sell your info to your government.

    I would NOT use the chinese one for work, as I do had info they might be interested in, and that makes me a target.

  3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Microsoft or the Chinese government.

    Microsoft probably developed the Chinese Government compliant version first, then realized they could co-opt all the baked in spyware for their own uses outside of China.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unless you were in any doubt whether the politburo had completely abandoned communism. If they hadn't they'd have chosen Linux.

  5. thames

    @massivelySerial - "Unless you were in any doubt whether the politburo had completely abandoned communism. If they hadn't they'd have chosen Linux."

    Communism - isn't that the system where a small, self-selected, out of touch, authoritarian group holds a virtual monopoly on everything that matters and decides what everyone else will be getting? And the board of directors politburo drones on endlessly about their 5 and 10 year enterprise roadmap plan?

    And free markets - isn't that the system where anybody who wants to is free to go out and create whatever they feel like and offer it to others? And where each person gets to pick and choose from among a huge and sometimes bewildering range of options, with order and success arising out of seeming chaos without any central direction? And where monopolies are fundamentally incompatible with it?

    Yes, I can certainly see your analogy there. Excuse me comrade, but the new 5 year plan enterprise road map from Redmond requires me to engage in Stakhanovite labours to meet the Windows 10 install quota for this month. Glory to the Windows marketing department!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Communism - isn't that the system where a small, self-selected, out of touch, authoritarian group holds a virtual monopoly on everything that matters and decides what everyone else will be getting?

    To be fair, that also seems to be the definition of democracy used in the US and UK and it accurately describes the attitude of Microsoft management regarding its userbase fi the way Windows 10 made it onto systems is anything to go by.

    The only difference between "Windows 10 - democracy version" and "Windows 10, China" version is that the former needs spyware techniques to be "accepted" by a "majority" of users, whereas the China version is simply mandated and phones Beijing instead of Redmond.

    where each person gets to pick and choose from among a huge and sometimes bewildering range of options

    Hmm. Windows 10, Windows 10 or .. ah, Windows 10. Or Microsoft via management, Microsoft via habit or Microsoft via a blackmailed OEM. Ah, freedom, one of the last illusions of the West.

  7. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Wait til Bigus Dickus hears of this.

  8. insteadof

    He has a wife you know......

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incontinentia Telemetrics?

  10. Tromos

    It still phones home

    Just a different home.

  11. cyke1

    Re: It still phones home

    and sends even more info then it did before.

  12. Danny 14 Silver badge

    Re: It still phones home

    but at least you know the Chinese are spying and profiling. You know they aren't selling the details to advertisers too. In fact probably the opposite.

    Here is the irony. Our Chinese boarding students are often amazed by the internet when they first arrive, they cannot believe what is blocked by the firewall and what they can see. But after the first few weeks the newness dies down and they realise that the "western" news agencies and a lot of blocked sites etc are just advert ridden muck; they soon drop back to baidu and home sites.

  13. Smooth Newt Silver badge
    Meh

    Re: It still phones home

    But after the first few weeks the newness dies down and they realise that [...] a lot of blocked sites etc are just advert ridden muck; they soon drop back to baidu and home sites.

    But the advert ridden muck is one of the best parts of the Internet here, or maybe they have access to better porn in China than I thought.

  14. Just Enough

    Re: It still phones home

    Someone should introduce them to the concept of having your own personal firewall. Like an Adblocker.

  15. x 7 Silver badge

    Re: It still phones home

    "Our Chinese boarding students are often amazed by the internet "

    if you really want to open their eyes, show them the Chinese channel on xhamster.com (very NSFW)

  16. Chakra

    Re: It still phones home

    I agree with you with how they tend to stick to Chinese sites obviously b/c they are Chinese centric sites catered to their interest. However, I disagree that they aren't as advert ridden muck or worse than Western sites. OMG, my sister in law from mainland China would always run into trouble with labtop and I would sometimes help her with her computer. I swear 90 percent of her problems were malware b/c of the shaddy ads pasted everywhere on the mainstream Chinese websites she always frequents, the usual crap entertainment news and other stuff. You could find pirated stuff on the Chinese equivalent of Yahoo news posted prominently, so it is not surprising that the websites could care less if their third party ad company sneak malware into the ads.

    Now she only uses Macs in part b/c of those issues. She generally avoids the websites that criticize the Chinese Government even in passing, it's just makes her uncomfortable even though the government had wronged her immediate family directly on more than one occasion(people in jail etc etc). Chinese expats can be pretty sensitive and nationalistic for the most part. I am not judging or really care, but meeting other Chinese students at the graduate level and you notice that her attitude politically is typical mainland for Chinese born and Western University educated elite you see at universities in the US. You really can't avoid observing it especially when something happens like the Beijing Olympics a while back.

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Trollface

    On this week's "Great Moments in Irony"!...

    We find the version of Windows 10 made at the behest of the authoritarian PRC government is LESS intrusive than MS' out-of-the-box version. :)

    GREAT...MOMENTS...IN...IRONY-NY-NY-NY!!......

  18. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Re: On this week's "Great Moments in Irony"!...

    It seems the Chinese trust their people more than Slurp trusts their customers.

  19. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    So, PLA Unit 61398 has already finished reviewing the W10 source code? Fast work, kudos!

  20. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Next weeks news: "PLA Unit 61398 now owns every Win10 machine in the world."

  21. jonnycando

    So....

    If China can have a Windows that doesn't phone home, so can everyone else. Just need some helpful hack to figure out how, that is beyond just installing a Linux or BSD or some such. Or just pulling out the network cord.

  22. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Re: So....

    ... why don't we just pirate the chinese version for a change?

  23. Tom 64

    Re: So....

    I don't think you got the point here.

    Microsoft have agreed to remove their spyware and install Chinese government spyware instead. I guess it was that or loose the Chinese market. Unprincipled sellouts.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: So....

    .. lose ..

  25. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    Re: So....

    I think my wife's already got the Chinese version.

    When she shuts it down now it lists all the still running apps (which we can't find) in Chinese.

  26. Pookietoo

    Re: When she shuts it down

    I wouldn't use that machine before it's been thoroughly sanitized with a stack of anti-malware apps, or freshly installed on a wiped hard drive.

  27. AlbertH
    Holmes

    Further confirmation.....

    .....that Windoze is chock-full of spyware with all sorts of malicious functionality.

    The Chinese aren't going to sanction anything that they can't thoroughly control!

  28. Terry Cloth
    Pirate

    Audits?

    I'd like to see Microsoft sic the BSA on China.

  29. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Re: Audits?

    "I'd like to see Microsoft sic the BSA on China."

    Clearly letting piracy run rampant in China has been good for microsoft. The endemic use of pirate XP has forced the Chinese government to give up on the idea of a home-grown OS as the population are just too dependent.

    I'd expect the Russians to follow suit on the Chinese lead shortly. They have had as much intention to brew their own OS and seemingly as much success.

    Of course the UK will be on the phone shortly after that. They have just as much interest in recording their populations usage habits as the other two, and are just as dependant on Microsoft technology.

  30. x 7 Silver badge

    so windows now phones home to two locations

    especially given that Chinese windows will also have Chinese "antivirus"

  31. Nathan 13

    All they did

    Was change the default language.

  32. MrTuK

    Can you imagine the furore if it actually did phone home because some oversight - lol, no more MS in China ! The loss of revenue would be enormous ! Maybe the take up of Linux could happen then and that would be a double wammy to MS !

    Anyway I don't care anymore, Linux Mint works great for me - It's faster, doesn't need even 25% of the 16gb of ram I have installed and usually only utilizes 2-3gb only !

    MS can go where the sun doesn't shine because I am perfectly happy to have a faster, more secure, more productive, non data slurping, non security snooping Laptop :)

  33. Kane Silver badge
    Joke

    @MrTuk

    "It's faster, doesn't need even 25% of the 16gb of ram I have installed and usually only utilizes 2-3gb only !"

    Yes, but can it run Crysis?

  34. tempemeaty
    Facepalm

    It's to bad China isn't capable of make an Operating System of their own

    I thought China had a mandate for providing for their own needs. I guess making an OS is to much...

    ¯\_(シ)_/¯

  35. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Re: It's to bad China isn't capable of make an Operating System of their own

    Well, let's toss the OS challenge to China... The NORKS did it and you can't????

  36. gnufrontier

    Inside info

    I presume that the Chinese government has been given a greater insight into Windows 10 source code and all updates in order to satisfy them that what they get will be what they are buying. This is a great ruse in order to get a better handle on how to hack into Windows 10. It will save them time.

    And given that this will be the last version of Windows, what an opportune time to decide that it is time for such a partnership.

  37. Sureo

    Re: Inside info

    "...Windows 10....the last version of Windows..."

    No, Windows 7 is the last version of Windows as far as I'm concerned.

  38. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Re: Inside info

    A case could be made for 8.1, but it's 7 for me, too.

  39. Herby Silver badge

    The devil...

    You know, or the one you don't

    Take your pick.

    Oh, assign each of the protagonists their proper title.

  40. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Embedded admin password?

    I'm guessing it's tong-ting.

  41. Anonymous IV

    McAfee it to 'em!

    > This version will be "a government-approved Windows 10 image, including Chinese capabilities such as government-selected antivirus software" ...

    What irony and western amusement would result if the Chinese government selected McAfee antivirus. (They wouldn't, would they?)

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more excuses?

    You would think Linux would be a slam dunk in China.

    What with all the deficiencies in windows piled on by you geniuses.

    The takeaway seems to be that no matter how shite win 10 is, it pales in comparison to the steaming mound that is desktop Linux.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: more excuses?

    But Glorious Best Korea embraces it, you dirty capitalist running dog lackey!

  44. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    After Windows 10 "Rick Roll" ...

    ... Windows 10 "Spring Roll"

    "Microsoft and CETC have been working on a custom image of Windows 10 for government customers since we announced our initial agreement in September, based on the tools that we make available to organizations around the world"

    Really? Where I can I download those?

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