Chinese government says Windows 8 upgrade too expensive, will stick with XP

Earlier this month, Windows XP finally reached the end of the road, as Microsoft formally ended its support for the ageing OS. But despite having had years to prepare, millions of individuals and organizations across the world are still running Windows XP PCs. 

Many of them can be found in China - StatCounter data from September 2013 revealed that over half of all the PCs in the country had XP on board, while some figures suggest that even now, this figure could be as high as 70%. In December, Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of China's National Copyright Administration, suggested that Microsoft should extend its April 8 support cut-off date, claiming that the decision to end support would result in more security threats and an increase in software piracy. 

Today, Yan appeared to rule out plans for the Chinese government to upgrade to a newer version of Windows. He told Sky News that the upgrade to Windows 8 would be "fairly expensive", and would result in greater costs for the public purse. An individual Windows 8 licence costs 888 CNY (around $142 USD / €103 EUR / £85 GBP) in China, but special promotions have seen this price drop as low as 299 CNY ($48 / €35 / £29). 

It seems that the cost for the Chinese government to upgrade to the latest Windows version is simply too high, which means that they'll be sticking with Windows XP for the foreseeable future. However, unlike some governments around the world - including those of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands - China won't be paying Microsoft to provide extended support for XP, despite Microsoft reducing its custom support pricing last week. 

Instead, according to Yan, Chinese security companies are currently working with the government to develop patches for its XP systems, in an effort to limit vulnerabilities and boost security. 

Source: Sky News

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"An individual Windows 8 licence costs 888 CNY (around $142 USD / €103 EUR / £85 GBP) in China, but special promotions have seen this price drop as low as 299 CNY ($48 / €35 / £29)."

I guess they've never heard of volume licensing.

timster said,

I guess they've never heard of volume licensing.

They are not as Smart as people make them out to be :s
They are only smart when it comes to ripping others off and selling cheap crap

I think there was a mistranslation here... China didn't say it was going to stick with XP but that BUYING Windows 8 was too expensive, so they'll just pirate it as planned, instead.

Forjo said,
They pirated XP. They'll pirate the patches. It's not like they won't end up on Bit Torrent anyway.

Great. I can just see some idiot post now explaining how to install pirated Chinese patches on your own XP box...

Dot Matrix said,

Great. I can just see some idiot post now explaining how to install pirated Chinese patches on your own XP box...


Except they won't be Chinese packages. They'll be the multi-language installers Microsoft releases to their extended support clients.

Could someone enlighten me how these 'Chinese security companies' are developing security patches for windows? How exactly could they do that without access to the source code?

gawicks said,
Could someone enlighten me how these 'Chinese security companies' are developing security patches for windows? How exactly could they do that without access to the source code?

As I suggested, I think they'll "obtain" them, as opposed to developing them.

I don't understand why Neowin post this news.
A "deputy director of China's National Copyright Administration" is not in charge of the IT purchase of Chinese government.

acrodex said,
I don't understand why Neowin post this news.
A "deputy director of China's National Copyright Administration" is not in charge of the IT purchase of Chinese government.

^this

They experimented with their own version of Linux and it bombed, so easier to just stick with the pirated OS and familiar apps they're already using.

Today, Yan appeared to rule out plans for the Chinese government to upgrade to a newer version of Windows. He told Sky News that the upgrade to Windows 8 would be "fairly expensive", and would result in greater costs for the public purse. An individual Windows 8 licence costs 888 CNY (around $142 USD / €103 EUR / £85 GBP) in China, but special promotions have seen this price drop as low as 299 CNY ($48 / €35 / £29).

Or you could have an economy where workers actually have money to spend rather than living in slave like conditions - and then they might be able to afford to buy a legal copy of Windows and other software.

Btw, you're saying that upgrading Windows XP to Windows 8 is too expensive yet some how you have more than enough money to run a 1984 security apparatus along with labour camps without being concerned about the price tag. Anyone surprised this is yet another example of a government trying to absolve themselves of responsibility for having a crap IT policy when it comes to government departments?

I don't care what country it is, its a problem when your government is too cheap to pay for either running current software or at least keeping old software up-to-date.

If China really cared about security, they would crack down on all the malware and stuff coming out of China.

There is always Windows-9 to fix this and other problems with Windows-8. Is the large learning curve with the totally new UI/GUI of "native" Windows-8 is part of the expense?

The pricing of software only affects the chinese government as everything else is pirated for the people. So everyone can afford windows 8 when you have the internet!! Look at the cars, direct rip offs of western cars, phones tablets etc anything and everything... and they have a major advantage in copying stuff as pretty much everything electronic wise is built there

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