Chinese Gov't Sticks With Windows XP, Disappointed With Microsoft And Promotes Local Software

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By Judith Aparri | April 29, 2014 11:56 AM EST

Microsoft has put an end on business support to Windows XP after it thrived in the market for 13 years.

The operating system still works, but should not expect Microsoft to continue sending it updates for security patches. Windows XP has an estimated 200 million Chinese users despite there are many operating systems following it.

Users find the need to stick with the OS even without Microsoft support as upgrading would be "fairly expensive," according to National Copyright Administration Deputy Director Yan Xiaohong, as Windows 8 costs  888 yuan (about $142 or £84), not to mention hardware upgrade.

To counter security risks and vulnerability to hackers, the Chinese government is evaluating security solutions from local providers.

Chinese state media seemed to have taken this as an opportunity to slam against foreign businesses while promoting China's underwhelming local software industry. Slamming Microsoft for the decision, they see the move as showing lack of trust and could affect Microsoft's fate in the future.

China also confirmed such move of Microsoft put them in an embarrassing position since most OS like Linux, Unix, OS X and others are foreign-controlled. It is a challenge for China's domestic software industry to become more powerful in this situation that Windows XP already ends.

On the contrary on how China gets a bad impression on Microsoft, it fails to highlight how majority of Windows XP users in China treat the product anyway. Few years ago, Microsoft then CEO Steve Ballmer said only 1 in 10 copies of Windows in China are patented copies, which mean that 90 percent are using pirated version of the software.

As a reaction to the state media post, one user confessed to social network that he is using a pirated version of the software. But most Chinese government agencies use legitimate software copies since the 2010 internal crackdown on violations of copyright. It urges state enterprises to do the same.

An estimate said Microsoft's Windows XP runs nearly 70 percent of the computers in China, while only 27 percent of the rest of the world use it. There are speculations that China uses Windows XP in monitoring its people. It may be one of its major reasons for sticking to XP.

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