Microsoft is partnering with Chinese search giant Baidu in its latest attempt to make upgrading to genuine versions of Windows 10 as simple as possible in a country where software piracy has historically run rampant.
Baidu will now be the default search engine for Windows 10 machines in that country, and in return it will give Microsoft access to the 600 million Chinese users already on its site. According to a Wednesday blog post, Baidu will offer a new distribution channel called “Windows 10 Express,” where users can easily download and install the operating system.
This kind of visibility on China’s most popular search engine is Microsoft’s most recent attempt to boost sales there by making it easier to get legitimate copies of its newest operating system.
Reuters reports about 75 percent of PC software in the country doesn’t have the proper licenses, which means Microsoft is missing out on revenue. The company hopes to change that. It has already made upgrading from non-genuine versions of Windows free and now it’s making sure everyone in China knows right where to find the real software.
China represents one of the world’s largest and most important software markets, but it continues to be a struggle for Microsoft as cultural and government differences have made things more difficult. China even banned the use of Windows 8 on government computers in 2014.
Wednesday’s announcement comes on the same day China President Xi Jinping plans to visit Microsoft’s Redmond campus. He has used the trip as a chance to strengthen U.S.-China business relationships, inviting top CEOs from both countries to meet to talk about how they can better work together. Both Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Baidu President Zhang Yaqin attended a roundtable discussion on Wednesday morning.