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Lenovo, Microsoft to sign intellectual property pact

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As part of Microsoft Corp.'s continued efforts to promote its antipiracy campaign in China, Microsoft and Lenovo Group Ltd. executives formally plan to sign a US$1.2 billion deal Monday to cement a joint effort by the companies to provide genuine Windows software to Chinese customers.

Executives from Microsoft and Lenovo are expected to participate in a deal-signing ceremony in Redmond, Washington, on Monday to reaffirm a commitment announced in November 2005 in China. At that time, the two companies pledged to work together through joint sales, marketing and training programs to promote legitimate copies of Windows on PCs in China and other emerging international markets.

Under the terms of the deal, Lenovo has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to Microsoft over the next 12 months for Windows software that will be installed on Lenovo PCs in more than 65 countries and regions around the world, Microsoft said.

Lenovo, which purchased IBM Corp.'s PC business in 2005, became the first PC manufacturer to pre-install genuine Windows OSes in its product lines for China through the deal, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing are expected to participate in Monday's ceremony, the second such public appearance executives from Microsoft and hardware manufacturers will make to show their dedication to preventing software piracy in China.

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced similar deals with two Chinese hardware manufacturers -- Tsinghua Tongfang Co. Ltd. and TCL Corp. -- to use only licensed versions of its Windows XP OS.

Microsoft has said it expects to sign more deals with Chinese hardware vendors to promote the use of genuine copies of Windows and to stop PC users from pirating the OS.

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