On Tuesday, May 20, the Central Government Procurement Center of China announced that Windows 8 will not be installed in government computers due to security concerns of running a system without guaranteed technical support.
The ban order does not mean that Windows 8 will no longer be sold in China but the government will no longer be a buyer. When people began to speculate that the American software giant will completely withdraw from the Chinese government market, Microsoft officials responded that the Chinese government will be able to choose Windows 7 with technical support continuing until the end of 2020.
Microsoft spokesman, Joanna Li, said the company was shocked by the government notice in an interview with the BBC.
“Microsoft is actively cooperating with the Central Government Procurement Center of China and other government agencies in the evaluation process to ensure that our products and services offered are able to meet the needs and requirements of all government procurement. Windows 8 has won widespread customer acceptance including many other governments. We will continue such efforts and believe that Windows 8 meets the expectations of government procurement. We have and will continue support Windows 7 for the (Chinese) government,” Li said.
The latest version, Windows 8.1, released in October 2013, does not appear in the ban order notification. According to the Chinese news outlet, Xinhua, China paid more attention to information security after the Snowdon scandal.
“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,” Xinhua said.
The Chinese government is using this opportunity to develop a Chinese operating system, developing an operating system called Kylin, based on the open source Linux OS. According to Xinhua, it is believed that the new OS will replace systems running Windows XP.