A Hard Sell For Microsoft In China

Its plan to sell set-top boxes in China faces high hurdles

Meet Wu Yanbin, a 21-year-old college student checking out the new computers at the Xidan Department Store in western Beijing. He's a devoted techie who surfs the Net every day. So ask him what he thinks about Microsoft Corp.'s key China strategy: promoting set-top boxes with its WinCE software that allows anyone with a TV set to go online. "Microsoft is a giant. I really admire it," he says. But would he buy one of their set-top boxes? No way. Says Wu: "Their functions are too limited for me."

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