China has banned Microsoft’s Windows 8 from all the government devices and government computers. It seems this is a step taken as a revenge for Microsoft's decision to discontinue support for its very old operating system Windows XP which is still popular in China.
But the Chinese government made the announcement restricting the OS in a notice about the use of energy-saving products and in regards to the concerns for security as reported by the country’s official news source Xinhua.
Xinhua also reported that “The Chinese government obviously cannot ignore the risks of running OS without guaranteed technical support. It has moved to avoid the awkwardness of being confronted with a similar situation again in future if it continues to purchase computers with foreign OS.”
This report indicated all desktops, laptops and tablet PCs purchased by central state bodies were affected by the decree, but the personal computer market should not be affected.
Microsoft said it was surprised by China’s decision, but said it would continue to offer older versions of its software to placate the government.
A Microsoft spokesman told the BBC.“We were surprised to learn about the reference to Windows 8 in this notice. Microsoft has been working proactively with the Central Government Procurement Centre and other government agencies through the evaluation process to ensure that our products and services meet all government procurement requirements. We have been and will continue to provide Windows 7 to government customers. At the same time we are working on the Window 8 evaluation with relevant government agencies.”
Microsoft pulled support for its 13-year-old operating system April 8, meaning there will be no more security updates. Windows XP was released in 2001 and from quite sometime Microsoft has been trying to obsolete its older products.