No XP Support? China Bans Windows 8 on Government PCs

If you're a business user faced with Microsoft ending support for Windows XP, it's tough luck or upgrade. But if you're the Chinese government, there are other options -- like banning Windows 8 from all the computers you buy.

On Tuesday, the Chinese government announced that the Windows 8 operating system would be forbidden from new energy-saving government computers. Some observers have taken the statement to mean all new computers purchased by the government. The reason given is because of security concerns, somehow related to the XP situation.

The Central Government Procurement Center said all computers bought by central state agencies -- desktops, tablets, and laptops -- must use something other than Windows 8. Computers used by companies and individuals outside the government are not affected, and a timeline has not been indicated.

50 Percent to 70 Percent Share

The governmental news agency, Xinhua, issued a statement that the government "moved to avoid the awkwardness of being confronted with a similar situation again in future if it continues to purchase computers with [a] foreign OS."

XP is big in China, with a market share estimated at 50 percent to 70 percent, and most governmental computers use the venerable OS. On April 8, after many warnings, Microsoft discontinued all support and security updates for XP. Chinese security companies were expected to continue their support, but apparently that was not enough. Microsoft has negotiated deals for support for some large customers, including the governments of UK and the Netherlands.

It's not completely clear why the Chinese government decided to ban Windows 8 if it feared security issues with XP, since infected files could infect computers with other OSes as well. The larger issue appears to be having control through a Chinese or a governmental-created OS.

Own Version

The government is reportedly planning to create its own OS based...

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