In April of this year, Microsoft made Office 365 available in China through a partnership with 21Vianet. Office 365, of course, is Microsoft's online, Cloud edition of the industry leading office productivity software.
China represents a huge potential market for Microsoft. In addition to the launch of Office 365 in the country, Microsoft cut the ribbon on a new Azure datacenter in March.
But, Microsoft's march to China dominance has been severely hampered as of late, and it seems with malicious intent by the country's leadership.
In May of this year, China announced a ban on Windows 8 for government computers and then shortly after lobbed a direct hit on the Redmond company by publicly posting Microsoft's semi-secret Android patent list. Like many countries, China is potentially making a political statement around the U.S. government's malevolent spying techniques, but its Microsoft that is continually getting caught in the middle.
Today, CRI is reporting that part of the Chinese central government and subordinate departments are banning Microsoft Office. The report has yet to be corroborated, but it's not surprising, considering China, famous for knockoffs, reproductions, and software pirating, has been seeking to use its own, in-country developed software for some time. The primary reason is that China believes American-made software potentially contains spyware and due to the NSA bungling, is not secure enough to protect the country's information.
If history is any indicator, China may be working toward isolation once again, but China is only one factor in a global stand against U.S. spying. Just last week, Germany cancelled a long-standing contract with Verizon over beliefs that Verizon is legally required to provide customer information to the NSA. Microsoft is leading the charge to attempt to sway the U.S. legal system to make adjustments to the NSA's electronic eavesdropping programs, but so far progress has been slow. The longer it takes for proper reform, the more U.S. Cloud revenue will suffer. If it goes on too long, U.S.-based companies face exclusion from a global Cloud economy.