It’s widely known that Microsoft has taken a fairly laxed approach to software piracy in China. Bill Gates has even admitted to Fortune Magazine last year that “while it was terrible that people in China pirated so much software, if they were going to pirate anybody’s software he’d certainly prefer it be Microsoft’s.”
It seems that after years of piracy, Microsoft has turned on its marketing machine and launched a one-week campaign during China’s National Day holiday to offer Microsoft Office for up to 70% discount. ChinaTechNews.com reports that MS Office which usually retails at RMB699 will be available until the 5th October for RMB199. Obviously a strategy to entice people using pirated software to licensed software, this strategy will hope to convert some of the 120 million PC users in China into actual customers. Coupled with a new global marketing campaign that enlists a diverse pool of celebrities (namely Vera Wang, Kevin Spacey, Bill Gates, Tony Parker and Eva Longoria), we may be entering a new era where it will be cool to be a PC.