China Blocks Windows 8 on Government Computers

China Blocks Windows 8 on Government Computers

BEIJING, May 20 (UPI) — China has banned government computers from running Windows 8, which is a reaction to Microsoft ceasing support for its popular operating system Windows XP.

Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, reports that an online statement by the Central Government Procurement Center reads that all desktops, laptops and tablets purchased by the central state agencies must run on an OS other than Windows 8.

The ban is in effect only for government computers, while the personal computer market is expected to remain largely unaffected.

The ban is most likely a response to Microsoft stopping updates for the Windows XP OS, which has a 70 percent market share in China. Safety concerns have cropped up since Microsoft stopped the updates last month, with increasing appeals for a domestically designed OS.

Chinese software companies have reassured the Chinese that they would provide technical assistance to guard against risks, but XP users are still fearful of security threats to their computers.

Apart from banning Windows XP, China is also focussing on developing an indigenous OS based on Linux, but according to An Yang, a security expert with Qihoo 360 Technology, progress on the project has been disappointing.