Microsoft Releases No Spying Windows 10 Release for Chinese Government
Samuel Wan / 4 years ago
Despite a myriad of consumer complaints over the invasive and controlling nature of Windows 10, Microsoft has largely not relented. Despite this tough guy approach, Microsoft can be sway by large sums of cash as we saw with extended Windows XP support for select large customers. Apparently, this holds true even for Windows 10, with Microsoft giving into demands from the Chinese government.
Even though Windows 10 is widely available for consumers in China, the Chinese government had largely held off on adopting the new OS. Concerns over the NSA and CIA spying on Microsoft led to issues with Windows 8 and with even more intrusive data collection done by Windows 10, the Chinese government was having none of it. Due to the large state enterprises in China, Microsoft had largely been locked out of the lucrative enterprise market. In a successful effort to break in, Microsoft has partnered with the state-owned CETC to bring a modified version specifically for the Chinese government.
According to the report, Microsoft has hard coded some policy settings which disable telemetry and data collection. There are also likely other tweaks here and there to ensure that Windows 10 is not reporting back home to Microsoft. It is unclear if this OS version is just locked down or if additional code has been added as well. With this joint venture, Microsoft is hoping to get final approval pending the success of 3 pilot projects.
Even though this is great news for Microsoft, it does shine a light on their hypocrisy. When users first found out about Windows 10 data collection, the company claimed that these features were baked in and could not be turned off. In fact, Redmond even claimed at one point that turning off data collection would break the OS. Now that China has Windows 10 without spying, it seems like it can be done without breaking anything really as long as you’re willing to pony up some cash.