China Bans Windows 8 From Government Computers

| 20 May 2014 16:44
Windows 8 systems

China's government will not allow the use of Microsoft's Windows 8 on any of its computers.

In a statement related to the use of energy-saving computer hardware released last week, China's Central Government Procurement Center announced that government computers will not be allowed to run Windows 8. The ban comes not because Windows 8 systems are less energy efficient than previous versions of Microsoft's operating system, but because of long-term concerns about security.

The official Xinhua news agency said the government imposed the ban "to avoid the awkwardness of being confronted with a similar situation again in future if it continues to purchase computers with (a) foreign OS." That "situation" would be the recent end of support for Windows XP, which is a much bigger deal in China than in most other parts of the world: Network World said last August that nearly three-quarters of the PCs in the country were still running under XP and predicted that figure would still stand at more than 65 percent as of April 2014.

Net Market Share pegs the rate at a more moderate but still significant 37 percent, while Canalys puts its market share at 50 percent; whatever the actual number, the ban on Windows 8 is a blow to Microsoft's efforts to promote it over its predecessors. China is the largest market for personal computers in the world, surpassing the U.S. for the top spot in 2012, and the government alone spent nearly $160 million that year just to replace pirated software on official computers, an effort that included the purchase of more than 158,000 operating system licenses.

Making Microsoft's position in the Middle Kingdom even more difficult is the Chinese government's effort to develop its own Linux-based operating system. Qi Xiangdong, president of Chinese antivirus company Qihoo 360, told Xinhua the first step toward creating a viable homegrown OS is to mandate its use on official computers, although consumers will be left to opt for whatever system they prefer.

Sources: ZD.net, Reuters

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TheSniperFan:
Speaking as a German, I can only say that I wish that our government would do this too. I don't see this happening any time soon though, since they'd have to remove themselves from the arse of the US government first.
Software from American companies should not be used on government computers, period.

Well, you'll be glad to hear that several years ago, Munich did just that. I remember reading a more in depth article about that story closer to the time. It was the first time I personally had ever heard of such a move on such a scale and for the reasons being discussed. It's also why I have a great respect for the way to Munich government handled the entire process from the start to the end. And I think China are experiencing the same thing now too.

For home users, our choice of OS is usually whatever came with the machine at point of sale. Occasionally, some users might upgrade by buying a newer OS, but that is significantly fewer. There are undoubtedly many dodgy copies around as well, and a relatively tiny user base of alternative OSs like Linux. For us to upgrade, it's not a big deal. We buy a disc, or buy a new computer and figure out the changes as we go, eventually conforming our machines to suit our needs.

For governments, universities and large corporations for example, it's a different story. There are hundreds of staff that need training, multitudes of databases and proprietary software, templates and shared practices. The numbers of computers is huge and the cost to change even the software would be huge, let alone the hardware too. The issue with Windows is that Microsoft dictate pricing, on going support and end of life and many organisations are tired of being held financially hostage to them.

When MS kill a product because they aren't making money any more, it's because they want more money and do so by creating a new, better product. But the Chinese government, among others, doesn't necessarily need to newer product and doesn't want to spend the small fortune it would cost to upgrade. And why should they, if the system works? The article above shows how Munich council investigated switching and how they went about it and it shows that it's entirely possible to break out of Microsoft's upgrade cycle/licensing business if one is determined enough. By using a customised OS like Linux, it can be tailored specifically for the organisation, upgraded constantly, changes made as desired, etc. all without having to wait on Microsoft.

TheSniperFan:
Speaking as a German, I can only say that I wish that our government would do this too. I don't see this happening any time soon though, since they'd have to remove themselves from the arse of the US government first.
Software from American companies should not be used on government computers, period.

I also wonder why people here talk about stuff like the UI and the lack of a start button when nobody really cares about this (in this case). It's almost like the NSA debacle went over your heads. -.-

The majority of the people I know don't take an interest in political affairs, foreign or domestic, which would probably explain the lack of connection to the NSA issue as of yet. However, you are correct in your reasoning, as the OP states that this was primarily over safety concerns, which I imagine, would have to include the NSA spying on people through MS servers (among many others).

Anyway, just be happy that you have enough wherewithal to take an interest in things that may affect you tomorrow. As for getting Germany out of the US's ass, I'll support your efforts on my end, as I wish my government would stop meddling in other government affairs. At best my country is seen as ignorant rednecks, at worst... well it isn't much better than your worst and probably equitable with Russia's worst (as far as uninformed opinions from other countries go, informed opinions tend to change on all sides).

Olas:

I don't know, maybe because even Microsoft has stopped supporting it?

I mean, you're right that XP is a fine OS, but the world is leaving it behind, and I would think with all the brilliant people over there in China that it wouldn't be too hard to adapt to one of our operating systems every decade and a half.

I guess I'm also just not seeing their logic here, if China is worried about another awkward incident with an unsupported OS, why ban the Windows OS that will take the longest time to get there? Why not ban Vista since presumably that's next on the chopping block for Microsoft? I suspect this is more about wanting to be independent from US products than the reasons given.

Why bother? If you have a company and you have two choices:
1. keep perfectly working system that you have now
or
2. spend 100 million upgrading system, then another 100 million ironing out the bugs and then hire 100 extra personnel to made sure your people know how to work with new system. Also be prepared to weather the productivity drop during adjustment period.

capcha: capital gain
see, even capcha knows why.

Strazdas:

Olas:
I'm confused, why does everyone hate Windows 8?

Also, why is the majority of China using an OS so old it's reached their age of consent?

Why not? WIndows 8 looks horrible and has terrible UI. Its improvements are invisible to regular users.

I like the way Windows 8 looks but I guess that's subjective, and the UI is basically Windows 7 with extra features and more customization. I

majority of the world use old OSes because why fix whats not broken? if it performs well, has no security holes left and you already own it, why buy expensive new product that you will have to spend years fixing and millions in reeducating staff? Why compromize your data when it was working fine?

I don't know, maybe because even Microsoft has stopped supporting it?

I mean, you're right that XP is a fine OS, but the world is leaving it behind, and I would think with all the brilliant people over there in China that it wouldn't be too hard to adapt to one of our operating systems every decade and a half.

I guess I'm also just not seeing their logic here, if China is worried about another awkward incident with an unsupported OS, why ban the Windows OS that will take the longest time to get there? Why not ban Vista since presumably that's next on the chopping block for Microsoft? I suspect this is more about wanting to be independent from US products than the reasons given.

In regards to China... no fucks given. As others have said, WinXP is ancient, and the end of official support is in no way shape or form a surprise. Security concerns are legit, but they should have been preparing for years already. And honestly, any business or government agency large enough to have an in-house IT department has zero excuses for not using Linux anyway.

Hell, I have no real sympathy for home users who still use XP and complain about the rest of the world gradually leaving them behind. Imagine how little I think of businesses or governments who do the same.

As for Win8... I don't really have any more respect for the people who hate on it than I do for XP heel-draggers. Yes, the Metro interface is not as good as Areo, and is in some areas just obnoxious, but no, the difference is not even REMOTELY big enough to actually be in any way a practical issue. I'm an old man compared to many people on this board, but people complaining about win8 look positively ancient in their bitter inability to adapt. If you're already running 7 and feel no need to change, you're probably right, but if you had to make the change and are now crying that everything is ruined, that says way more about you than it does about Windows. At least the Vista hate had it's basis in real practical problems like security and stability. Having to take a quarter second longer to open an an app by clicking an ugly tile (or being constantly told to "tap" or "swipe" instead of "click") is only a minor itch at worst.

Speaking as a German, I can only say that I wish that our government would do this too. I don't see this happening any time soon though, since they'd have to remove themselves from the arse of the US government first.
Software from American companies should not be used on government computers, period.

I also wonder why people here talk about stuff like the UI and the lack of a start button when nobody really cares about this (in this case). It's almost like the NSA debacle went over your heads. -.-

BigTuk:
Obvious answer: Linux

Heck in many, many countries that aren't the big 10, government agencies run on linux systems. Originally it was done as a cost saving measure and as linuxhas improved they've enjoyed quite a few benefits such as being a bit more proof against viruses and security leaks, . Also the ability to customize has meant that the OS and it's capabilities can be tailored to specific needs.

Either way this is gonna hurt MS wallets big time and they were already talking about Windows 9....

i work for the government (no, relly). and at least here we dont use any linux systems other than servers. then again we also suck at updating, im posting this from an XP machine and a very old one at that actually. Half the staff got to Win 7 though, only half to go.

noone uses linux here other than few enthusiasts. youll quicker see machines running dos than linux.

Brian Tams:
I'm really sick of escapists coming onto these threads and not reading the fucking article.

And im sick of titles not representing article content, i guess we will both go home sad then.

Olas:
I'm confused, why does everyone hate Windows 8?

Also, why is the majority of China using an OS so old it's reached their age of consent?

Why not? WIndows 8 looks horrible and has terrible UI. Its improvements are invisible to regular users.

majority of the world use old OSes because why fix whats not broken? if it performs well, has no security holes left and you already own it, why buy expensive new product that you will have to spend years fixing and millions in reeducating staff? Why compromize your data when it was working fine?

Olas:
Dafuq? Am I missing some context, or do you just not math good?

the person who created the original wasnt good either. 360 is full circle.

Not related in any way to the horrible "we made this for touch screens, too bad if you don't have one" interface design they decided was the one option they went with.

Communist party is so insular that I doubt they have allowed even Vista or 7 to be released, so XP is only "legal" option.

And the joke is modified from Xbox, but it has 360 for full rotation. Too small choice before Windows goes to three-digit versions.

I'm confused, why does everyone hate Windows 8?

Also, why is the majority of China using an OS so old it's reached their age of consent?

evilnancyreagan:
You know why they call it Windows 8?

Because when you see it, you turn a full 8 and walk away from it

Dafuq? Am I missing some context, or do you just not math good?

I'm really sick of escapists coming onto these threads and not reading the fucking article.

Signa:

evilnancyreagan:
You know why they call it Windows 8?

Because when you see it, you turn a full 8 and walk away from it

Oh man, I'm laughing so hard at that.

The original line was stupid enough, but you just made it even worse.

And by worse you mean better, WAY better.

Windows 8: so terrible it's been banned from a country where people resell used condoms as hair ties.

I am using Windows 8.1 myself and since Update 1 it is actually just as good as Windows 7. You just have the start menu replaced with this "modern" start app which allows for greater customization than the start menu and even if you don't use it you won't be missing the start menu at all when you can pull up the control panel, an elevated command prompt and several other useful things with a single right click on the lower left corner of the screen which is basically a start menu anyway and even has the sign out and shut down options to that effect.

And there's also the VASTLY superior task manager which is more powerful than ever and allows you to easily see what is "bottlenecking" your system so you can upgrade the relevant part and get better performance.

CAPTCHA: Forbidden Fruit

...

I swear that thing is sentiant

Well I'm all for people banning Windows 8, but I'm not aware of a competing 'local' alternative.

Eww I agree with the government of China about something. *scrubs but the dirt won't come off*

Fasckira:
They make it sound like Microsoft decided to pull support randomly, when in fact its been planned for years. I wish them all the best with that special linux OS they developed, but I'm rather content with w8.1.

I have Win 8.1 on 2 systems, I hate it (although it has improved on original Win 8), my main system is staying 7 and if 9 goes the same way as 8 then my next OS may be steam OS.

OT: Yeah I have Windows 8 banned in my house too, can't say I blame them consider how shitty 8/8.1 has been. Windows millennium 3.0 (2.0 being Vista)

Good, now adopt Linux and you'll be good to go for a long time.

Wait? Why are they trying to reinvent the wheel here? Ubuntu has already developed a flavor of linux directed at Chinese users specifically. For free. No license required. With Debian support...

Good grief, China, get on board! Kylin is there and it would mean good things for the linux community at large!!

evilnancyreagan:
You know why they call it Windows 8?

Because when you see it, you turn a full 8 and walk away from it

Oh man, I'm laughing so hard at that.

The original line was stupid enough, but you just made it even worse.

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