From the beginning, Windows 10 has been designed as a global service – available in 190 markets around the world. In China, hundreds of millions of PCs operate Windows today and we’ve focused on delivering a great Windows 10 upgrade experience through partnerships with Tencent, a leading social networking and gaming service in the world; Qihoo 360, a leading internet security company in China; and Lenovo, one of the world’s leading PC manufacturers. We recently announced a partnership with Baidu, one of the most frequently used Internet gateways in China, to make it easy for their customers to upgrade to Windows 10 while providing local browsing and search experiences, and universal apps.
Today, we’re pleased to share another new development in China. 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.
The new joint venture which is subject to regulatory approval in China and is provisionally called C&M Information Technologies, will be based in Beijing and will serve government agencies, as well as state owned enterprises in key infrastructure fields such as energy, telecommunications, and transportation. C&M is being established in partnership with China Electronics Technology Group building on our previously-announced agreement.
C&M Information Technologies will play three important roles:
- It will act as the exclusive licensor for government and critical infrastructure state owned enterprise customers of a government-approved Windows 10 image, including Chinese capabilities such as government selected antivirus software.
- It will provide product activation, patch management, deployment services and product support, as needed, to these government customers.
- It will collect feedback from these government customers on their specific use requirements to inform the creation of the successive updates of the government Windows 10 image, which may be developed by the joint organization.
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.
C&M Information Technologies is just one example of how we are working to listen and help serve the needs of governments around the world. This broad model has been in existence for over a decade and differs from country to country, but the common thread is that we continue to look for ways to offer new tools and new flexibility to all governments worldwide to help them meet the needs of their employees.
Importantly, we will maintain ownership of the core Windows 10 technology while working, as we’ve always done, to allow customers and partners to build components that plug into our platform. We’ll continue to keep Windows 10 secure and sustain our strong privacy standards, while recognizing that public sector solutions may differ from technology offered to private sector enterprises and consumers around the world.
We’re pleased that work on the new joint venture is already underway. Microsoft and CETC have been working on a custom image of Windows 10 for government customers since we announced our initial agreement in September, based on the tools that we make available to organizations around the world. If this Windows 10 image is approved for use within the government, it will become available for government purchase and the joint organization will begin its role selling and supporting the government in its use of Windows 10.
It’s important to us to deliver Windows around the world, helping people be more productive and do great things, and to deliver on Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Today’s news is a good example of how we can help governments around the world use the trusted technology they need for their employees, helping them serve their citizens and realize economic growth.