Microsoft is to roll out its latest update to Windows 7 activation technology months later than users elsewhere.
Redmond is apparently taking a softly softly approach on China. The rest of the world will automatically start receiving the update later this month, but the process will not start in China until this summer. Foreign companies have long complained about poor protection of intellectual property rights in China, but the problem lies as much with Chinese users themselves as with lax government regulation.
Redmond created fury among Chinese users in late 2008 when it released an automatic update that turned the computer screen black for pirated versions of Windows XP.
The update for Windows 7 however, looks for known hacks used to activate unlicensed copies of the operating system. Users with the hacks will have their desktop wallpaper turned black and be shown reminder messages, though the OS will still function.
Meanwhile Microsoft is playing up the fact that pirated Windows 7 copies have malware on board. Nearly one in three pirated copies of Windows 7 were found to have malicious code in a recent analysis by Media Surveillance, an anti-piracy services company, Microsoft said.