Oh, so you’re ending support for Windows XP and you want us to upgrade to Windows 8? Not so fast, says the Chinese government. Reuters reports that China’s government has banned Windows 8 from being installed onto its computers for reasons that aren’t quite clear but that seemingly relate to the end of support for Windows XP, which research firm Canalys says makes up 50% of China’s desktop market.
Reuters says that the government issued the ban “as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products” while China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said that the band was a way to “ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system.” Reuters says that no one has provided any explanation so far about how banning Windows 8 will either save energy or ensure security.
Although we can’t know for certain, it’s possible that China’s decision to ban Windows 8 might also be related to the threat of NSA spying. We learned last year that German IT officials deemed Windows 8 “too dangerous to use” after finding back doors in the software that the NSA could use to remotely control any computers that have it installed. The German researchers also said that their government would be able to safely use Windows 7 until support for that OS runs out in 2020, so it will be interesting to see if China does a massive upgrade to Windows 7 on its remaining Windows XP machines in the coming months.