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Windows 10 Tuned For Chinese Government

San Francisco (AFP) – Microsoft is forming a joint-venture in China to tailor a version of its new Windows 10 computer operating system for use by the Chinese government.

“We’re announcing a new joint venture that will license, deploy, manage and optimize Windows 10 for China’s government agencies and certain state owned enterprises and provide ongoing support and services for these customers,” Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi said in an online post late Wednesday.

If the joint-venture succeeds, state-owned enterprises cleared to buy Windows 10 would include key infrastructure fields such as energy, telecommunications, and transportation, according to Mehdi.

The joint venture, tentatively called C&M Information Technologies, is being created in a partnership with state-owned China Electronics Technology Group and will be based in Beijing, Microsoft said.

The venture will need clearance from regulators. Windows 10 is not currently allowed on Chinese government computers.

Cyber defense and reliability will be among features that would be tailored to suit the Chinese government. Making it onto the list of approved vendors means agencies there could buy Windows 10, but would not be required to do so.

“It’s common for governments to look to specialty technology partner organizations to deploy technology at scale, and this venture signals the possibility for new opportunities for Windows 10 in the many government entities in China,” Mehdi said.

The venture is significant for Microsoft, which is keen to grow in the China market but has been vexed by software piracy, as well as a ban last year on the use of Windows 8 on government computers.

Microsoft boasted that hundreds of millions of computers in China are powered by Windows software, and that it has been encouraging upgrades to the latest version through partnerships with local technology titans Baidu, Tencent, Qihoo 360, and Lenovo.

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Microsoft beta-fies Home Server PP3 for Windows 7

Microsoft is looking for guinea pigs to test Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 beta, which is – predictably – built around Windows 7.

Pioneering souls with Windows 7 on a home computer or currently running Windows Home Server can sign up here on Microsoft’s site.

Power Pack 3 expands the ability to create image-based backups to Windows 7 machines in addition to XP SP2 and Vista machines.

Microsoft is also pitching PP3 as a storage and backup solution for netbooks and other small, cheap computers as a way to augment their limited storage space. The latest update now supports a resolution of 1024×600 so netbook owners can use their miniature screen as the interface and playback device for Home Server.

 

Power Pack 3 also lets users share music, photos, and videos to Windows 7 Libraries, allowing the content to be shared from a central addressable location across all other Windows 7 computers attached to the network.

Windows Search 4 is baked into PP3 for speedier search times, indexing times, and stability across all document libraries on the network. Files encrypted with Encrypting File System (EFS) are now supported with search.

The TV Archive option in Windows Media Center will now lets users record television to the home server running PP3 beta in smaller resolutions for Windows Mobile devices (320×240, 500 Kbps) and the Zune (640×480, 1500 Kbps). It appears Microsoft is still keeping the format of the videos limited to WMV files — so non-Microsoft devices that can take advantage of this new feature are still rather limited.

Microsoft has the full runaround of its Windows Home Server PP3 beta program on its Home Server blog. ®

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