Being a MS employee, I buy my Windows XP from the Redmond company store for a mere (Price to low to mention) dollars. Why, thats less than the cost of a brand new Xbox 360 game. I have never had to buy Windows in retail since its usually provided with the PC already loaded up. I do find the opinion of what a real customer thinks about having to buy the real deal here in China quite interesting and something for our product planners to think about.


My laptop crashed about ten days ago. Being the conscientious and responsible person that I am, of course I had all my important stuff backed up. Still a pain in the ass though, because it seemed the only way to get my computer up and running again was a new Windows installation.

So off I went to the nearest 电子城 (dianzi cheng, Electronic City) to pick me up a copy of Windows XP. I was determined this time that I would buy a "real" copy, as I expected if I were to purchase a fake it'd only lead to more computer headaches in the not-so distant future.

So I arrive at Electronic City and start chatting the sales lady:

Me: Do you guys have an English version of Windows XP?
Lady: Yes, please wait a moment. Please, sit sit sit.
(lady goes behind a mountain of cardboard boxes, comes back)
Lady: Here you are. 15 yuan.
Me: I was just wondering, how much for a "real" version of windows? I should really buy that one, I think.
Lady: Well, we don't have it here, but it would surely be more than a thousand RMB.
Me: Holy Windows Batman!
Lady: 什么?

Anyway, I spoke to another friend of mine yesterday who tells me that he believes a real copy of windows may cost more than two thousand RMB. I have no idea. To me, Real Windows packages are kinda like Mr. Snuffleuppagus -- I'll buy one when I can afford it. But until then..


-Frank Yu