Fake Microsoft Windows in China
Along with being busy with studying up for my somewhat new job, adjusting to Shanghai, and trying to take care of my cold girlfriend (it’s not that cold here! Yet she thinks it’s the end of the world, having spent all of her life in southern China), my laptop has been on the edge for quite a while.
I finally broke down and bought a new (but smaller) hard drive, to replace the one that has been giving me hard drive errors and making it very hard to use my computer over the past several months. This is on top of a new DVD drive and battery within the past year or so, all for a Sony VAIO that is past its time anyway (more than three years old). But I don’t have the money for a new Dell I’ve been looking at (the prices of Dell laptops in China are far cheaper than any other brand you can find in the store), and was pretty sure it was a hard drive problem, so I broke down and got a small hard drive (40G) for about US$50.
Can Only Load a Fake Version of Microsoft Windows First
The problem was that I didn’t have any self-booting windows disks, and installing it through a USB drive was just not working. So I went out and bought several versions of Windows, looking for one that would just load directly off of a CD.
Finally I found one, which picked up in the middle of the installation process (avoiding the need to enter a password at all), and also installed a long list of other programs you might have a use for, all in Chinese, of course. After I had this up and running, I installed a real English version of Windows to replace the pirated version. Now my computer is running like it used to!
In China, pirated software typically sells for 10 RMB a disk. A full operating system for $1.30, what a deal! Of course the non-pirated versions are next to impossible to find in some places, especially something as essential as Windows, which is usually only found in its official form in new computers from factory installations.
If they were smart, software companies would go the route of movie studios in mainland China and sell software at a fraction of the price it goes for in the States. Yet the only software I have seen that sells at a fraction of a cost of its US equivalent in China are games, the real versions of which seem to do quite well in China (although pirated versions do quite well too). Other software makers should follow in their footsteps and provide software at a reasonable price. Otherwise they are missing out on a not-so-large but rapidly expanding market.