Emergic points us to an article at CFO.com entitled "Does Microsoft Need China?," with some interesting insights into the power China could have in the global software industry if it continues to push Linux use:
But in the long run, China could pose dangers to Microsoft. If Linux flourishes there, it could spawn formidable low-cost rivals to the American company. "The real value of open source to a country like China," says Kevin MacIsaac, an analyst with the MetaGroup in Sydney, "is developing a public infrastructure for a software industry. It's a reasonable and cost-efficient way for China to compete globally."
Others in Asia see the potential. Japan and South Korea joined China in April on a project to jointly develop a new operating system based on Linux as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows. Thailand and Malaysia have instigated programs to offer low-cost PCs to citizens with Linux operating systems [...]. They're being helped along by Microsoft competitors such as Sun Microsystems, which has signed a deal with the Chinese government to supply its Linux desktop operating system and office program to as many as a million PCs there. Future electronics products shipped from Chinasuch as mobile phones and DVD playerscould be developed free from dependence on the Windows operating system.