Microsoft Creates Windows 10 ‘Zhuangongban’ Fork Tailored Specifically For Chinese Government

In December, HotHardware reported that Microsoft had entered the planning stages for introducing a tweaked version of its Windows 10 operating system in China, and just three months later, the first iteration is being delivered. You have Windows 10 Pro? China has Windows 10 'Zhuangongban'. That rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?

The Chinese government has in the past made it no secret that it's skeptical of potential spying code that could run on software (or hardware) produced by American companies, which results in companies such as Microsoft having to face uphill battles anytime it wishes to release a new product in Asia's largest market.

Windows 10 Chinese

To make sure that this special Windows 10 release was well-received, Microsoft launched a new company called C&M Information Technologies, which is based in Beijing. The point of this company is to act as a front-end to Microsoft in the country; it's directly responsible for both selling and supporting Windows 10 Zhuangongban.

While it's hard to know all of what's different with this version of Windows 10 without having direct access it, we do know that it includes additional security controls and fewer features targeted at the consumer. Aside from that, Zhuangongban remains Windows 10 to the core, so it will be able to run all modern Windows software without issue.

Some might see Microsoft's move here as caving into the Chinese government, but from a business standpoint, Microsoft has little choice. If Microsoft avoids the Chinese market with Windows 10, its open-source competitors would simply eat into its market share. With this deal having been completed, could we see other countries suddenly demand the same level of attention? Only time will tell.