Microsoft Launches Windows 2000 in China

Beijing, March 20, 2000 — Today in the China Grand Hotel, a much-anticipated event at last came to pass: Microsoft launched Windows 2000 in China with festivities that seemed to symbolize the widespread celebration throughout China’s information technology (IT) industry. The release of Windows 2000 in Chinese demonstrates Microsoft’s recognition of China’s importance as a market and the company’s commitment to the Chinese people. China now joins the 60 plus countries in which Windows 2000 is already available.

Today’s Windows 2000 launch festivities took place at the Grand China Hotel in Beijing.

The release of Windows 2000 Simplified Chinese Version was made possible by strong support from various sectors of the IT industry in China. Windows 2000 contains powerful 128-bit encryption technology, and rumors earlier this year suggested that the operating system might meet with resistance from the Chinese government, which in January had begun to enforce rules that required the registration of encryption products, and also required that a separate request be submitted for permission to use them. In early March, however, Microsoft announced that the launch of Windows 2000 in China had been approved.

Present at today’s grand launch ceremony in Beijing included Director Zhang Qi, the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), Patrick Mulloy, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce and Alan Turley, Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs, in addition to more than 1,000 representatives from industrial circles. Fifteen Windows 2000 local launch partners, including six Diamond Partners — CA, Compaq, Cisco, Dell, Founder and IBM, and nine Platinum Partners — APC, User Friend, Kingdee, Beida Mingtian, Shanghai Intranet, Start, Wisdom, Wenzhengming and Mijia Technology also participated in the grand launch. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect, sent his congratulations through a video speech.

“Windows 2000 represents a significant industry wide effort. More than 1,000 partners, over $1 billion in engineering and more than 5,000 individuals rallied together to make this product the platform that companies can bet their businesses on,” Gates said at the February 17 launch in the United States. “Windows 2000 truly begins the next generation of computing.”

In conjunction with the release of Windows 2000 in China, Microsoft launched a unique promotion and sales campaign simultaneously in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The move has drawn warm reactions from Chinese clients.

“Windows 2000 has upgraded reliability, scalability and manageability to new heights,” said Madame Zhang Qi, Director of the IT Products Department under MII, at the China launch. “I hope the launch of Windows 2000 Chinese Version will promote the development of Internet in China, especially among enterprises and business circles, to a new level.”

Launch participants celebrate the debut of Windows 2000 in China.

Windows 2000 was designed for a worldwide audience. In addition to 24 localized language versions of Windows 2000 — including English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Chinese — Microsoft also offers Windows 2000 MultiLanguage Version, the first operating system to offer a choice of languages in which to display the user interface. The platform also enables the sharing of workstations in countries or regions where more than one language is spoken, such as Switzerland, Belgium and Hong Kong.

“Microsoft is proud that Windows 2000 is now broadly available around the world. We know that Windows 2000 will improve business operations tremendously for customers around the globe,” said Steve Ballmer, president and CEO of Microsoft.

Recently, Microsoft announced that customers worldwide had acquired over one million units of Windows 2000. This milestone includes estimates from channel resellers, retail outlets and PC manufacturers; the company has yet to count its largest customers around the world that acquired licenses through enterprise agreements. According to Microsoft Customer Support, Windows 2000 is generating fewer support calls per unit licensed than any previous Microsoft operating system, indicating that customers are finding it easy to deploy or upgrade to Windows 2000.

The Windows 2000 family of operating systems is designed to enable a new generation of PC computing, delivering superior levels of reliability and manageability to help increase system uptime and lower the total cost of ownership. Windows 2000 is the ideal platform for doing business on the Internet and takes advantage of state-of-the-art hardware, from the smallest mobile devices to the largest e-commerce servers.

A result of more than three years of R & D, the Windows 2000 Simplified Chinese version is specifically tailored to the Chinese market, with full consideration of special local requirements. In addition, the Microsoft China R & D Center developed reinforced supports to the Chinese language. These include the updated version of 2.0 MS Pinyin Input System, the Unicode surrogate technology that can support up to 64K of Chinese characters and support for the Chinese character indexing system. Such features are designed to bring as much convenience as possible to Chinese users.

In the Internet era, competition is dramatic and constantly changing. As a result, Chinese enterprise clients are depending on Windows 2000 to expand their businesses and to help them seize rapidly changing business opportunities. Windows 2000 is able to meet businesses’ most demanding requirements, and it has been widely endorsed by Chinese clients, said Jack Gao, general manager of Microsoft China.

“The extensive and strong support from the local IT community is very critical to the successful launch of Windows 2000 in China,” said Gao. “It reflects the tremendous efforts of the whole industry to usher in next generation of PC computing in the coming business Internet era.”

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