updated 01:40 pm EDT, Wed April 18, 2007
244 Copies of Vista China
Microsoft has failed to make inroads in China with its new operating system, according to newly published figures. During its first two weeks on the market, only 244 official copies of Windows Vista sold in the southeast Asian country -- one of the smallest fractions of the 20 million sold worldwide during the first month.
Reports have quickly turned to rampant piracy as the chief explanation, noting that bootleg final copies were not only available in advance of the January release but had been manufactured on a large scale by a pirate factory operating in Hong Kong. The much lower prices for these copies is said to have given little incentive to choose the legitimate version.
The news is an apparent blow to Microsoft's increasingly strict activation plans, which were meant to curb large-scale piracy such as that found in China rather than punish individual users. The company recently acknowledged that it wouldn't patch an OEM hack that let experienced users run illegal copies. [via New Launches]