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As Microsoft sniffily denies suggestions that the Chinese government is poised to ban Windows 2000, TurboLinux has opportunistically leapt into the fray by claiming it's been outselling Windows in China for the past four months. The good news: TurboLinux is basing its claims on what seems to be a pretty substantial data set. The bad news: as piracy in China is estimated as being up around the 90 per cent level, what you sell there doesn't necessarily make a dent on the actual installed base. TurboLinux's numbers come from what it claims to be the largest retail software chain in China, 256 outlet Federal Software Store. TurboLinux 4.0 at around $49 has been shifting more copies than the upgrade version of Windows 98 ($245 in China) and according to the company, the Win2k upgrade. Given that Win2k can't be available there yet, we're a little puzzled by this. But on reflection, it's got to be true - TurboLinux is obviously outshipping Millennium and Neptune as well. Although the piracy situation does make Chinese sales figures somewhat artificial, retail success will certainly be helpful to TurboLinux in the long run, as China cleans up its act on intellectual property. The company also claims to have been making strides in bundling, recently clinching three deals with Chinese hardware vendors, has been donating copies of Linux to schools, and is funding the GNU/Linux Research Center at Tsinghua University. ® See also: China bans Win2k, developing Red Flag Linux instead

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