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Microsoft Battles China Pirates With Office Price Cut

In a move to make its genuine software more affordable to users in China, Microsoft has cut the price of its Office suite by about 70 percent.

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According to Reuters, Microsoft has reduced the price of its Office Office 2007 Home and Student Editions from 699 yuan ($102) to 199 yuan ($29), as part of a promotion that began on Monday and runs through Oct. 4, the end of China's National Week holiday.

Jim Lin, Microsoft's Beijing-based public relations manager, told Reuters the promotion is designed to give people more incentive to purchase genuine Microsoft software, and that Microsoft plans to run similar promotions in the future.

China has a less than stellar track record when it comes to fighting software piracy. In a January 2008 study sponsored by the Business Software Alliance, IDC estimated that more than 80 percent of PC software in China is pirated.

In June, China state media reported that the Chinese government's State Intellectual Property Office had launched antitrust investigations against Microsoft and several other software vendors for allegedly charging more for their products in China than in other countries, although both the Chinese government and Microsoft subsequently denied knowledge of any investigation.

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