In a bid to tackle the rampant software piracy rates in China and boost sales, Microsoft has slashed the price of its Windows Vista operating system by more than half in the Asian country. The software giant has cut the retail price for its basic version of the software to $66 from $201, and the price of its premium package to $119 from $238.

The Vista price cut is not the first time Microsoft has revisited pricing policies in China, which is the world's second-largest PC market, and has one of the fastest growing rates too. Windows has struggled to make its mark in the Chinese market, however, partly because Microsoft's software prices were unrealistically high given local incomes.

The software maker hopes narrowing the price gap between original versions of Microsoft's software and pirated copies, will result in higher sales. However, Vista's high system requirements could still represent a barrier to consumers.