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Battle against piracy: Microsoft to offer free upgrade of Windows 10 to all users

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

World technical giant Microsoft Corp to overcome its battle against piracy, is making its biggest push into the pirated Chinese consumer computing market by offering free upgrades to Windows 10 to all users, irrespective of whether they are running genuine copies of the software or not.

After launching the Anti Piracy movement and encountering forfeited Microsoft OS pre-installed in numerous PCs being sold in China in 2012, this step is an unparalleled attempt by the MNC to get legitimate versions of hundreds of millions of Windows users in China.

Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft’s operating systems unit, announced the plan at the WinHEC technology conference in Shenzhen, China.

He also confirmed the awaited release of Windows 10 globally “this summer”. This is the first time Microsoft has set a time frame for the launch unlike earlier times.

“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10,” he said in a telephone interview with Reuters. The plan is to “re-engage” with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he added.

Microsoft is working in collaboration with Lenovo Group Ltd to implement the roll out of Windows 10 in China to current Windows users. It is also offering upgrades through Qihoo 360 Technology Co and Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s biggest networking company responsible to build a Windows 10 mobile and PC app for QQ gaming and messaging service.

Microsoft has also been working with China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Technology Co ltd which uses Android OS, to offer the use of Windows 10 on some of its handsets as a pilot project.

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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Shanghai Airport Gets Check-In With Facial Recognition Machines

Increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

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Shanghai,
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection facial recognition device is ready to scan another passenger at a United Airlines gate. VOA

It’s now possible to check in automatically at Shanghai Hongqiao airport using facial recognition technology, part of an ambitious rollout of facial recognition systems in China that has raised privacy concerns as Beijing pushes to become a global leader in the field.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport unveiled self-service kiosks for flight and baggage check-in, security clearance and boarding powered by facial recognition technology, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Similar efforts are under way at airports in Beijing and Nanyang city, in central China’s Henan province.

Shanghai,
Face recognition tool was first launched in 2012

Many airports in China already use facial recognition to help speed security checks, but Shanghai’s system, which debuted Monday, is being billed as the first to be fully automated.

“It is the first time in China to achieve self-service for the whole check-in process,” said Zhang Zheng, general manager of the ground services department for Spring Airlines, the first airline to adopt the system at Hongqiao airport. Currently, only Chinese identity card holders can use the technology.

Spring Airlines, Shanghai said Tuesday that passengers had embraced automated check-in, with 87 percent of 5,017 people who took Spring flights on Monday using the self-service kiosks, which can cut down check-in times to less than a minute and a half.

Shanghai,
Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, demonstrates the company’s facial recognition technology, in Boston, April 23, 2018. VOA

Across greater China, facial recognition is finding its way into daily life. Mainland police have used facial recognition systems to identify people of interest in crowds and nab jaywalkers, and are working to develop an integrated national system of surveillance camera data.

Chinese media are filled with reports of ever-expanding applications: A KFC outlet in Hangzhou, near Shanghai, where it’s possible to pay using facial recognition technology; a school that uses facial recognition cameras to monitor students’ reactions in class; and hundreds of ATMs in Macau equipped with facial recognition devices to curb money laundering.

Also Read: Facial Recognition Technology Catches A Person With Fake Passpost At The US Airport 

But increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

“Authorities are using biometric and artificial intelligence to record and track people for social control purposes,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. “We are concerned about the increasing integration and use of facial recognition technologies throughout the country because it provides more and more data points for the authorities to track people.” (VOA)