It never changes, does it?
Today, Microsoft basically purchased the privilege that it received a week or so ago: getting pre-installed on all of Lenovo computers made and sold in China. It’s a realpolitik manoevre that Microsoft basically had to make: buying $700 million of hardware in order to sell $1.2 billion of software.
Since software has few incremental costs to Microsoft, it’s a good deal as far as it goes. I’m sure that Microsoft views this as an investment in an ongoing campaign to fight piracy in China. At least it’s better than the alternative: continuing rampant piracy, and no revenue at all.
Of course, one wonders how an Apple or a Sun or a RedHat could compete against this. You need deep pockets to place these kinds of bribes.
Good thing China’s not in the EU.