This is quite interesting. In a potential bid to combat piracy, Microsoft is said to be building a specific Windows 8 SKU, or build, for the Chinese market. This edition of Windows 8 will likely, if built, be cheaper than other versions of the operating system, making it more generally affordable.
That affordability is Microsoft’s tool to attack rampant piracy in the country. Precautions will be taken to ensure that the special build is only used in China, NeoWin reports: “The SKU can apparently be installed only with a Chinese ISO. The article adds that if you try to do so with an English ISO, a Blue Screen of Death alert appears with the error message ‘Bad MUI’.”
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This idea, building a lightweight and cheap version of its flagship software, is not new for Microsoft. The company is preparing Tango, an update to Windows Phone that will allow for lower priced handsets, as the software is being stripped down to support them. Microsoft hopes that low price will entice new customers. In both cases, Microsoft is targeting developing markets with specially designed, and priced products; one size fits all this is not.
Putting aside what piracy is (a service problem), Microsoft appears to understand that if it can find the right price point, it can change the way the Chinese computing market functions. Generally, SKUs annoy me, when it comes to Windows; do we really need Home Basic, and Home Premium? However, in this case, if Microsoft does release the build, it will be to make the product simply more accessible. It’s hard to get mad about that.
You can find all our Windows 8 coverage here.