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China bans Windows 8 over Microsoft’s move to drop Windows XP support

By April Taylor , May 20, 2014 09:19 AM EDT
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China is apparently not a big fan of Microsoft's latest OS, as the country has just banned Windows 8 on government computers.

This move reportedly aims to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for the old Windows XP operating system.

From now on, any desktop, laptop and tablet PC to be purchased by central state organs must run an OS other than Windows 8, the Central Government Procurement Center stated, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua. This measure refers only to computers used by government offices. The personal computer market will remain unaffected, which means that consumers can install whichever OS they choose for their personal use.

Most government computers in China still run the old Windows XP OS, which has a whopping 70 percent market share in the country. Microsoft ended Windows XP support back in April, fueling numerous security concerns and appeals for an OS developed in China.

Windows XP users are still on edge regarding potential risks such as hacker attacks, and Microsoft's end of support for Windows XP apparently makes Windows 8 even less desirable.

"The Chinese government obviously cannot ignore the risks of running OS without guaranteed technical support. It has moved to avoid the awkwardness of being confronted with a similar situation again in the future if it continues to purchase computers with foreign OS," notes Xinhua.

In other words, China took the news of Windows XP's shutdown quite hard, so it is now banning the latest OS so as not to go through this again when Microsoft eventually decides to end support for Windows 8.

Xinhua further notes that in addition to this ban that prohibits the use of Windows 8 in central government offices, China will also focus on developing its own operating system based on Linux.

Although this ban only affects government computers, China's decision to move against Windows 8 will certainly deal a heavy blow to Microsoft. Windows 8 has already faced lots of criticism for various shortcomings and Microsoft tried to patch things up with subsequent updates, but it seems that the OS still faces a reluctant audience. Windows XP, meanwhile, has been the most popular OS, and its end of life, while expected, was hard to take for many. It remains to be seen whether China will change its mind and let go of this ban, but for now Windows 8 is not welcome in government offices.

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