China bans Windows 8 from being used on government PCs

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.

Source: Reuters

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43 Comments

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Faber Mago said,
Sometimes they ban Google too so it makes sense...

That isn't that odd.. I am close to banning google from my set of tools and workflow

But XP is just fine and secure right?

FYI it's been covered before here. Government uses XP and use hackers to reverse engineer patches. They have no intention of moving to 7

acido00 said,
I can just say one thing: They are missing an amazing OS experience.

Yeah, experience which not many people want to go through. Under 10% market share of Looser 8/8.1 is proof of that.

acido00 said,

Sadly StatCounter is not a source anybody should trust! it has the worst way to gather that information. GoogleCounter instead the really know and they can really get the stats for that... since google is still the #1 search engine.

Now I gave you the link and you got in to denial mode. Unfortunately, this is the best we can get at this moment unless you ask Google to provide the breakdown of OS.

ozyborn said,
Since when does China use any legit software? They pirate EVERYTHING and make cheap knockoffs.

Yeah, another stereotype that Chinese don't use legit software. Do you think no other country pirate but Chinese.

Auditor said,

Yeah, another stereotype that Chinese don't use legit software. Do you think no other country pirate but Chinese.

Regardless, China is still known for it's ignorance in regards to copy and patent laws.

Auditor said,

Yeah, another stereotype that Chinese don't use legit software. Do you think no other country pirate but Chinese.

Of course others do, but there is a cultural difference there with respect to the concept of software licensing and "ownership". No other nation pirates at the scale of China. Of course, owing to their size, few other nations do anything at the same scale as China.

ozyborn said,
Since when does China use any legit software? They pirate EVERYTHING and make cheap knockoffs.

I m sure 1/3 your household items are made in China. I suggest that donate every thing from China to your local homeless shelters.

I can somewhat relate to their decision though.... Corporate PCs are made for work.... and all the new features since XP are just useless to them (to a point, even security-related ones like UAC). The only problem at this point are security updates, but if they secure their network well they might be able to mitigate the risk...

Their decision doesn't have anything to do with usability or even security. They're just mad that XP support is gone.

Not surprising and lots of companies are not even looking at rolling out Win8. They normally skip every other version. Roll out XP, skip vista...roll out 7, skip 8.

All the better, its not like they would have bought genuine licenses anyway. They are probably running the RTM FCKG copy of Windows XP Professional right now with no patches.

Didn't the chinese government even have access to (part of) the Windows sourcecode? :/
I thought it was 1 of the requirements for the Chinese gov to switch over to (legit) Windows.

Steven P. said,
No I'm pretty sure it had to do with confirmation of "no backdoors" and Microsoft had to prove that it was secure in that respect.

That was actually my first thought as well. "Not secure" as in they would not be able to eavesdrop on it as easily.

Steven P. said,
No I'm pretty sure it had to do with confirmation of "no backdoors" and Microsoft had to prove that it was secure in that respect.
I cant speak for XP, but it was pretty well documented that China was illegally given source code by chinese "third party". To claim that "its all legit" is either very misleading, or an attempt at internet sarcasm that blew by me.

dvb2000 said,
Most large US companies also ban Windows 8 from their corporate PC's. Can't see an issue here.

I wouldnt say most companies ban Win8...it is just common practice for most to skip every other OS release.

Steven P. said,

Fixed that for ya.

Most large US companies are savvy enough to not put fisher price interface on their productive PCs.

Another fix for ya.

Auditor said,

Most large US companies are savvy enough to not put fisher price interface on their productive PCs.

Another fix for ya.

I agree. That's why most have moved on from XP.

I know several large and small business moving to windows 8.1 (not 8). It is starting to see a lot of business traction. Our company moved to Windows 8.1 products by Toshiba and Lenovo. We are loving them. Especially the hybrid products. We have individuals running Windows 7 wanting to be upgraded because Windows 8.1 is much faster.

dvb2000 said,
Most large US companies also ban Windows 8 from their corporate PC's. Can't see an issue here.

OH the Irony of this ban, since they hated the fact that Microsoft ended support for Windows XP. It's obvious that this was not due to Security because I can assure you XP is way less secure than Windows 8.

Auditor said,

Most large US companies are savvy enough to not put fisher price interface on their productive PCs.

Another fix for ya.

True. That's why most run Windows. Fisher Price doesn't make PC operating systems -- unless there's a new Linux distro I'm not aware of.

Enron said,

I agree. That's why most have moved on from XP.

Did make me chuckle - thanks. I guess some people's memories are a bit short..

Enron said,
Most large US companies should ban anything made in China, which would be just about everything.

Including the PC they would have put Windows 8 on :)

Auditor said,

Most large US companies are savvy enough to not put fisher price interface on their productive PCs.

Another fix for ya.

Last time I checked, it's not possible to run photoshop, autocad, etc. on start menu or screen. People use the desktop for that, and guess what, windows 8/8.1 have it too.