Ballmer: 95 percent of Chinese software revenue lost to piracy

microsoft ceos compensation down 6 percent in 09 thumbnail ballmer

Speaking earlier this week at Microsoft’s newly-opened R&D headquarters in Beijing, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said widespread software piracy in China has prevented his company from seeing significant revenue in what will soon be the world’s largest PC software market. Ballmer said that the Chinese PC market is about the same size as that of the United States, but software revenue from China was only five percent that the company sees from the United States.

Ballmer’s comments underscore the challenges many software and Internet firms face attempting to bring their existing business models to China. In addition to being the largest market for Internet users on earth, it is also a largest producer of pirated and counterfeit software and media in the world. Although the Chinese government has long claimed to respect intellectual property rights, lax enforcement and a culture of piracy have long been a major hurdle in China’s relationship to the Western world.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ballmer asserted that while PCs are still too expensive for many Chinese, the costs of software don’t place a significant burden on the market. Ballmer indicated that if Chinese customers can afford a PC in the first place, they can afford to pay for legitimate software.

Ballmer claimed other countries known for widespread software piracy don’t have the same degree of discrepancy between PC sales and software revenue. According to Ballmer, Microsoft makes six times more money per PC sold in India than it did per PC in China, and that if China’s intellectual property protections were at least as strong as India’s, then the Chinese software market would be worth “billions of dollars.”

Earlier this month, the Business Software Alliance estimated that the total value of software pirated during 2010 totaled some $59 billion. The same report found that the overall software piracy rate in China during 2010 was 78 percent, with a retail value of nearly $7.8 billion.

Mobile

5G is the swift kick VR and AR gaming needs to come to fruition

There's a lot of hype surrounding augmented reality and virtual reality, but is it really the next big thing? We take a look at where the new mediums stand, as well as how 5G is poised to help them break into the mainstream.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Gaming

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.
Computing

New Chrome feature aimed at preventing websites from blocking Incognito Mode

A new Chrome feature will prevent websites from blocking Chrome users as they browse using Incognito Mode. The feature is supposed to fix a known loophole that allows websites to detect and block those using Incognito Mode.
Mobile

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Mobile

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Photography

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.
Computing

Keep your portable computer safe and shiny with the best laptop bags for 2019

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.