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China bans Windows 8 from government computers

Microsoft Windows 8 banned in China from government computers
Microsoft Windows 8 banned in China
The Chinese government has decided to avoid Windows 8 and it could soon switch to its own operating system based on Linux.

According to statistics that cannot be confirmed due to the large numbers of pirated Windows XP copies used by home users, Microsoft's outdated operating system has an impressive market share of over 70 percent in China.

Given the limited lifetime of Microsoft's operating systems and the security issues that appear soon after official support is discontinued, the Chinese government decided to avoid installing Windows 8 on any desktops, tablets or notebooks they use. Obviously, this restriction does not apply to home users. 

Although major companies promised to provide technical assistance for both home and government Windows XP users, it seems Chinese officials cannot ignore the increasing amount of threats targeting the 13-year old operating system. Chinese companies already developed a few Linux-based systems, for example KylinOS and StartOS, but none of them was adopted for official use so far.

According to market research firm Canalys, "China's decision to ban Windows 8 from public procurement hampers Microsoft's push of the OS to replace XP, which makes up 50 percent of China's desktop market." Remains to be seen what happens if the authorities fail to find a worthy Windows XP replacement in a timely manner.


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Codrut Nistor, 2014-05-20 (Update: 2014-05-20)