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