Microsoft Gives Source Code to Chinese Governmentby Adam Pliszka, cyber-defense.net
June 13th 2011
Sold down the river. A phrase meaning to be betrayed by another.
Originated during the slave trade in America, selling a slave “down the river” would uproot the slave from their from spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends.
“I can’t believe that Microsoft gave their source code to the Chinese in a pathetic attempt to get them to buy more MS Office licenses. Boy-were we sold down the river!”
In the euphemistically worded press release Microsoft and China Announce Government Security Program Agreement, we learn that China joins over 30 other countries as recipients of access to Windows operating system source code.
I bet all that yummy, ecumenical, international cooperation gave someone at the BSA warm and fuzzy feelings. Either that or Ballmer told them to keep quiet.
Hold on. That announcement was in 2003.
Fast forward to 2011. Searching on Google for “Chinese attacks on US on US” yields 57 million hits. After the RSA breach, China is linked to attacks on US Defense contractors and US Congresswoman condemns attack on change.org
In 2011, Steve Ballmer is saying that China is doing 5 percent of the revenue that it should be doing because of pirated software. See the article Microsoft’s Chinese revenue 5% of what it could be
The BSA (Business Software Alliance), an industry lobby group, has some interesting figures to fuel Ballmer’s comments:
Four of five software programs installed on PCs are pirated
This amounts to “commercial theft” of close to $8 billion a year
Piracy in 2010 cost the software industry $59 billion in revenue
I would not take BSA numbers at face value. The BSA estimates are guesses multiplied several times without providing any independent empirical data. They start off by assuming that each unit of copied software represents a direct loss of sale for Microsoft, a false assertion.
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