Microsoft Licenses Locally Crafted Software In China

Company shows confidence in anti-piracy efforts.

Microsoft announced Oct. 31 that it was licensing new software to local firms in China for the first time in a move that showed confidence in China's economy and hope for its anti-piracy efforts. Microsoft struck partnerships with Comtech Group in Shenzhen and with Talkweb Information System in Hunan, according to David Harnett, director of intellectual property ventures for Microsoft.

Microsoft has had software licensing deals with international firms operating in China, but the agreements with Comtech and Talkweb marked the first such partnerships with local companies. The licensing deals were done under the auspices of the Intellectual Properties Ventures program launched by Microsoft last year to unite entrepreneurs with software innovations from the firm's five research labs worldwide.

"The broader perspective is that Microsoft is committed to working with Chinese companies to develop the software economy in China," Harnett said. "It allows us to connect with innovative companies that understand customers in China."

"We find existing companies with footholds in the market and embed our technologies in the company," Harnett said. "In China, technology from all our research labs will be available to China companies."

Software licensed from Microsoft provided opportunities to build on China's manufacturing hub prowess with "value-added services," Talkweb director of strategy Lichang Qiang said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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