Chinese Internet users have expressed fury at Microsoft’s launch of an anti-piracy tool targeting Chinese computer users to ensure they buy genuine software.
The “Windows Genuine Advantage” program, which turns the user’s screen black if the installed software fails a validation test, is Microsoft’s latest weapon in its war on piracy in China, where the vast majority of 200 million computer users are believed to be using counterfeit software, unwittingly or not.
“Why is Microsoft automatically connected with my computer? The computer is mine!” one angry blogger wrote on popular Chinese web portal Sina.com. “Microsoft has no right to control my hardware without my agreement.”
Another blogger railed over the cost of authorized versions.
“If the price of genuine software was lower than the fake one, who would buy the fake one?” he wrote.
A visitor to a Beijing internet cafe said Microsoft was violating people’s rights.
“If, when I’m programing, the computer screen goes black, that will probably cause some important information to be lost,” he said. “Who will pay me for my loss then?”
Dong Zhengwei, 35, a Beijing lawyer, described Microsoft as the “biggest hacker in China with its intrusion into users’ computer systems without their agreement or any judicial authority,” the China Daily said.