A China-specific version of the operating system will include greater control for administrators, support for custom data encryption preferences, and have updates and system data administered by a Chinese entity.
Microsoft has built a version of Windows 10 tailored for China’s government and state-owned corporations, baking into the operating system greater control for administrators and a pledge to not send any system usage data outside of the country.
Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices unit, announced the new version of the operating system at an event in Shanghai. The first customers of Windows 10 China Government Edition include China’s customs service and the city of Shanghai.
Operating in China has been difficult for Microsoft and other Western companies, with services like Facebook banned entirely. Analysts attribute that to strict government control of the internet and technology companies, as well as a regulatory regime that often mandates partnerships with local companies to operate in the domestic market.
The new Windows version was developed by CMIT, a joint venture between Microsoft and state-owned China Electronics Technology Group. CMIT will handle all system updates for the operating system, and none of the data on the operating system’s performance will leave China, Bloomberg reported.
“We are aware this could be perceived as a sensitive issue but it’s quite appropriate for a sovereign country, within its own computer system and its own employees to have its own encryption systems,” Myerson told the news service.