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It begins: black market Vista copies already on Chinese shelves

Ryan Block, @ryan

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Screw the limited edition signed collector's Vista plate set with matching flatware and signed Bill Gates lithograph, China's already rocking it black market style with Vista knocks on the shelves in two CD sets. The software, which is already purchasable for the low, low price of about $2.50, is thought to be the Frankenbuild version or some other hack of beta code to get around the activation process. Either way, it's unlikely to be going anywhere but home with Chinese consumers. Which kind of begs the question: even though dumping is generally frowned upon, at what point will Microsoft cut its losses and just sell the software for less cash in markets where the median income is proportionately grossly less than that that of its country of origin?

P.S. -Props to the box designer that left the trademark symbols next to Microsoft and Vista; we tip our hats to your sense of irony.

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