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No Windows 8 on our govt computers: China

Asian power bans public sector installs of MS OS citing XP support worries, eco concerns

No Windows 8 on our govt computers: China
China’s reasons for the Win 8 ban are confusing: Win XP support and energy saving.

China has announced the ban of Windows 8 installations on government computers in what the Central Government Procurement Center claimed was part of its push for energy-saving products, Reuters reported.

State news agency Xinhua had a different explanation, saying the ban was a precaution against malware after last month's end of support for Windows XP, which is estimated to reside on around half of all Chinese computers.

However, it is not clear how a ban on Win 8 installations would guard against this issue, since most security experts globally, including several Middle East-based specialists consulted by ITP.net, have advised that an upgrade to Windows 8 (or 7) is the best option for XP users. It is similarly unclear how a ban on Windows 8 would promote energy saving.

The news will come as a blow to Microsoft's hopes of capturing more of the sizeable Chinese desktop market. Pirated software, including Windows copies, has long been a source of tension between US and Chinese officials. Former CEO Steve Ballmer famously told company employees in 2011 that Redmond drew more revenue from the Netherlands than from China, despite computer sales in the Asian giant being of a similar volume to those in the US.

It is also unclear how the decision ties to yesterday's frosty exchanges between Washington and Beijing over five indictments handed out by US federal prosecutors to Chinese military officers for alleged cyber crimes. China has already responded with strong denials, counter accusations and hints that it would "take further action on the so-called charges".

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