It is not easy for Western tech companies to do business in China. The local government imposes all sorts of restrictions and makes various demands to allow outside players to operate in the country or use their products. Some companies give up altogether, by either exiting the market or not even attempting to enter it, while others try to accommodate China's requests.
When it comes to selling Windows 10 to China's government, Microsoft has taken the second route by agreeing to deliver a customized version of its latest operating system to the country's agencies. The deal was made public last year, in December, and the software giant just announced that a first -- China edition, if you will -- release is now ready.
In an interview with local publication Caixin, Microsoft's head of China operations, Ralph Haupter, revealed that the custom version of Windows 10 developed for the Chinese government is called Windows 10 Zhuangongban (Specially-provided Edition), and also some of the customizations that Microsoft has made.
According to Haupter, the software giant has trimmed the list of self-branded apps and services and also provided a higher number of management options. There is no complete list of changes available, so we do not know exactly what sort of modifications Microsoft has made to it, more specifically whether it has addressed the privacy concerns raised for the standard versions of Windows 10 available to consumers and business clients.
It is likely that the Chinese government wants to have more control over the data that its Windows 10 devices share with Microsoft, but also tighten security so that they can be used in a wider range of environments. Not to mention the fact that many of the services and apps that Microsoft bundles with its operating system are not meant to be used in China in the first place.