Just a few weeks after the government of China announced it would continue to use Windows XP on its PCs even after Microsoft stopped supporting the OS, it has now announced a flat out ban of the more recent Windows 8 operating system from being installed on its computers.
Reuters reports that China's Central Government Procurement Center posted word of the Windows 8 ban last week on its website. Oddly, the notice was part of a message on how the government could use energy saving products. However, the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, later said the ban was to help ensure computer security. The government has offered no further details on their decision. There's no word if this move has anything to do with the U.S. government bringing charges against the Chinese military for cyber espionage.
In late April, the Chinese government said they were sticking with Windows XP on their PCs because it was too expensive to upgrade to Windows 8. Microsoft officially stopped issuing new security and software patches for the nearly 13 year old operating system on April 8th, although it made an exception a few weeks afterwards to fix an exploit in Internet Explorer.
Microsoft has not issued a comment on these new statements made by the Chinese government. Ironically, the company announced a few weeks ago that its new Xbox One game console would be sold in China beginning in September, which uses a version of Windows 8 for running non-gaming apps. Microsoft also launched its Office 365 subscription service in China in late April.