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China Prefers Sticking With Dying Windows XP To Upgrading

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the the-devil-you-know dept.

Microsoft 333

tdog17 writes "China says it wants Microsoft to extend support for Windows XP because that will help in its fight to stop proliferation of pirated Microsoft software. A state copyright official says the release of Windows 8 means a substantial increase in the selling price of a Windows operating system, especially in light of the upcoming end-of-life of Windows XP, which is still used by a large percentage of Chinese. That could drive users to buy pirated copies of a new operating system because they are cheaper, he says."

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Why (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45605677)

Why is Microsoft selling Windows 8 for so much more than Windows XP? For most uses it's not significantly better.......

Re:Why (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605825)

They probably like money. It's a very common condition.

Microsoft is running out of milk cows (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 10 months ago | (#45606075)

Used to that Microsoft can sell anything.

Used to that anything with the Microsoft (c) brand on it, no matter if it's the OS or mouse or keyboard or office suite, they are guaranteed to sell like hotcakes.

No more.

With one fumble after another, with more and more alternatives to Microsoft's products (of which many of them are free), Microsoft is running out of cash cows.

Right now they are so desperate that they are trying to milk Windows 8 as much while the going is still good.

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (4, Informative)

Zemran (3101) | about 10 months ago | (#45606105)

I have always found their hardware to be of much better quality than their software. Their software is not as bad as a lot of people say but I prefer OSX etc. I have had several M$ mice and keyboards in the past and have been very happy with them.

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 10 months ago | (#45606141)

My last mouse lasted 10 years. It was still working when I upgraded it for a r.a.t.7 which lasted a year :(

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45606353)

The Rat7 is one of the finest products Ontario Knife has ever made.

Seems like a pretty harsh solution for a broken mouse, though. Dispatching a suffering moose is probably a more appropriate use for it.

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (0, Flamebait)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 10 months ago | (#45606271)

I had a wireless Microsoft mouse once, it lasted around a week on fresh new AAA batteries, after which it would start failing to transmit to the pc properly, until it just simply did not work. I decided not to every try any piece of hardware made by Microsoft again. In contrast, my experience is that any other OS I have tried fails to compare to a Windows 7 installation, including other versions of Windows.

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45606327)

Given that the overwhelming majority of users find their hardware to be excellent, is it not possible that you simply won the reverse lottery? Better to side with the larger sample size, after all.

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (0)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 10 months ago | (#45606385)

It is most definitely the case, but it's extremely hard for me to remove something from my blacklist once it gets a place in it. In contrast, my Logitech G500 wired mouse worked so well, when it started acting up I bought another one. And then fixed the first one since I learned that the issue was easy to fix. So now I have a working G500, and another working G500 to be used in an emergency or as a source of spare parts.

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45606423)

In contrast, my Logitech G500 wired mouse worked so well, when it started acting up I bought another one.

So...you're comparing a wired mouse to a wireless one that only failed when the batteries ran out?

How was the wireless one when the batteries were OK? Maybe the lesson should have been "avoid wireless", not "avoid Microsoft".

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (0)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 10 months ago | (#45606499)

Crappy, even with new batteries. It worked, but it was never really smooth. Since I didn't know what to blame, I chose to blame both, and promised myself to never buy a wireless mouse or keyboard again, and to avoid Microsoft-branded hardware.

Wireless mouse with no power is worthless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606631)

And the mouse should not go through the batteries that fast, if it does, then it's broken.

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#45606459)

I have always found their hardware to be of much better quality than their software.

Yes, it is assembled only by the most-talented slaves [globallabourrights.org] .

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606635)

If those 2 are only 2 things you compare - than you are not in position to do that.

Re:Microsoft is running out of milk cows (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about 10 months ago | (#45606663)

It should be well made, Microsoft has been in the hardware business for about 30 years by now. Once upon a time they sold memory and logic boards for computers (they actually started as a Unix shop), things like mice have been getting sold for over 20 years and I've had good luck using their keyboards for over a decade. Their latest mice haven't does as well for me as I would like, but I they actually have a fairly good track record with making hardware (except for the xbox 360).

Re:Why (3, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45606243)

"They probably like money. It's a very common condition."

Nah. I think that's a myth. If Microsoft liked money they never would have released Windows RT or Windows 8.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606263)

And I on the other hand I think the dollar signs in their eyes obscured their vision too much. And that's why we got Windows 8.

Re:Why (0)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45605831)

Why is Ferrari selling its cars for so much more than Ford? For most uses it's not significantly better....... /irony
Actually. I can't think of an example of item that's sold most because of it being significantly better instead of because of a better marketing.

Re:Why (0)

aliquis (678370) | about 10 months ago | (#45605927)

Plastic bags over paper bags? (Though in lots of US movies and series they have paper bags with no handles.)

Mouse over trackball?

Condoms over.. urethra plugs?

Matches over bow and two pieces of wood?

I was thinking about Firefox over IE but then I got reminded Chrome is likely the most used browser then so I guess you're right on that one..

Re: Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606013)

Paper bags are biodegradable. Plastic bags are not.

Re: Why (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606037)

I see you're one of those filty LIEberals who believe in the environment.

Got my eyes on you, scum.

Re: Why (2)

Vaphell (1489021) | about 10 months ago | (#45606085)

Paper is not as ecological as you think it is. Its production uses a lot of energy, water and a variety of nasty chemicals.

Re: Why (2)

aliquis (678370) | about 10 months ago | (#45606091)

I've seen claims on them that they are broken down by sun light.

Regardless I throw my soft plastic in the recycle bin for soft plastic and before we had one of those I used the "rest garbage" bin instead because back then it wasn't recycled anyway so regardless of which bin you used it would get burned.

Plastic bags hold better and hence they are better for me.

What I normally use as a grocery bag is a 4 SEK IKEA Frakta Medium bag though, often lately I haven't brought it and taken those small fruit bags but that's pretty stupid, but if I don't have anything else and don't want to pay for a larger stronger plastic bag that's what I do.

A regular plastic bag is like 1.5 SEK, the Ikea Frakta Medium is 4 SEK as said. Paper bag is likely at least 2 SEK.

The Frakta holds way better and is about the size of the paper bags.

http://www.ikea.com/sg/en/catalog/products/30161992/ [ikea.com]
$0.9 in the US.

Re: Why (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about 10 months ago | (#45606095)

Paper bags are also rain-degradable.

production and development cost (4, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 10 months ago | (#45606115)

Ferrari cars cost just as much to develop as your average ford. However, the number of cars being sold, will make the development cost per car much higher. Add much higher production cost because of materials used, fabrication methods used, number of actions to produce a certain part and yield to the equation. Even if Ferrari would make a bold move and decide to sell their cars at the same price as Ford, they would still have to buy more expensive materials and do more to those materials before they are a car.

MicroSoft may have put more money in developing Win7 initially than they did in XP, I wouldn't know if that's the case. The real thing is that the production cost per copy is negligible; they just turn a knob and come up with a sales price based on a marketing model.

The home PC market is crashing since most people don't need a PC anymore to watch movies, communicate with their family or play games. The introduction of the computer in the home has moved from the single device to smart phones, tablets, media players and game consoles. People hardly need a "real" computer anymore and the budget for one has moved on to other devices. School going kids and students may need one to do school work on and learn, but the requirements for that sort of machine aren't that exciting usually and an older model or really cheap new hardware will do just fine.

Offices don't really need PCs to do more than office work. To be honest, typing a letter or stuffing things in a spreadsheet hasn't changed much over the past ten years or so. Offices tend to move towards VDI where the machine the user has is only an input/output device and the "desktop" is actually running on a server, often not using a desktop OS in a VM, but simply a session on a server OS.

MicroSoft is losing their monopoly in office suit software, server software, e-mail platforms and such. Several attempts to get new markets like search engines, media and music players, have failed to yield any profit and are costing them money. Depending on how you look at it, their game console business is a success, but the net profit they got from it is either not fantastic, or they are still in the red and it's not a commercial success at all. They have a large part of the market, but it's still not clear how much they have spent to get that and if they actually have recovered that money. The desktop PC market is shrinking rapidly and they need some way to keep all those developers paid and shareholders happy.

With the current stock price and results they had in the past, shareholders have very high demands. This makes that they are turning the knob for the Windows7 and 8 desktop OS prices way up. This makes people either pirate it, or buy a PC that comes loaded with crapware to sponsor the price of the OS, or they move to another OS because they are tired of the whole windows clutter and viruses.

In China, crapware sponsorship is worth next to nothing because piracy is much more prevalent there and sponsors expect very little return on the installations. That makes the OS very expensive to put on legally for vendors or end users, resulting in even more piracy.

China has the power to convince MicroSoft to extend XP life and even sell it for a lower fee. If the Chinese government would decide to move to Linux as the OS for all official government desktops, home users will follow that sooner or later, especially if it was free and there would be less malware. It wouldn't be easy or cheap to do so for China, but this XP retirement is an event where they have a clear cost/benefit model that has a pivot point that is an actual threat to MicroSoft. If China would migrate to Linux, it'd give a much bigger threat to MicroSoft than a few German cities doing it. Even the cities migrations have already resulted in quite a few enhancements that make Linux a more viable desktop alternative. Once China puts their weight in, the reasons that keep linux away from the corporate desktop will disappear rapidly. Given the recent revelations about (industrial) espionage and predominantly closed source being used as a pivot point to do so, Windows hasn't gained popularity either. MicroSoft can't afford China to dump desktop windows OS, even if they'll not make a dime in profit on it, so they will try to work out a solution with China one way or the other.

Re:production and development cost (0)

iONiUM (530420) | about 10 months ago | (#45606655)

I'm sorry, why do you write it "MicroSoft"? Their company name is [wikipedia.org] clearly [microsoft.com] "Microsoft". Is it your like subtle way to say you hate them, like people who write M$ or Micro$oft?

It seems childish and naive, especially since I'm pretty sure you know better.

Re:Why (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#45606563)

Healthcare.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605939)

Why is Microsoft selling Windows 8 for so much more than Windows XP? For most uses it's not significantly better.......

MSFT: "Because we're delusional enough to believe that whatever our UX designers come up with, we can cram it down the users' throats!"
Hardware Manufacturers: "Because we're delusional enough to believe that Microsoft's monopoly can force everyone to throw out their old monitors and buy one with a touchscreen."

The more interesting question is "China, WTF?"

China: "We have the source code for XP and all the backdoors for it." AnonCow: "I wonder if the source code license that gave them the XP source gives them the Win8 source?" NSA: "If it does, what makes China think it has a true copy of the Win8 source?" PLA: "Exactly. XP it is."

Re:Why (3, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | about 10 months ago | (#45606097)

For someone that already has XP, the cost has already been paid and there is no future cost. If you try to force such a user to upgrade they will quite understandably object. Very few people who are being coerced feel a loyalty to the person (or company) that is coercing them and would rather go down the market and get a copy...

Re:Why (2, Insightful)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 10 months ago | (#45606299)

It is a common mistake to assume that an old machine has already been paid: the cost of maintenance tends to grow with time, while the value of the machine drops. There's usually a very definite point after which it is not worth maintaining an old machine, but usually by that time you have spent more money in unnecessary maintenance than you would have spent in upgrading the system when it was the right time.

The same cost exists for software, although because of it's virtual nature, the cost of maintenance grows more because of obsolescence or lack of support, rather than repairs or replacement parts.

Re:Why (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 10 months ago | (#45606305)

If the Chinese Gov cares that much maybe they should start throwing some resources at ReactOS or similar.

People might have laughed at Red Flag Linux. But if they produce a working XP compatible OS I bet a number of large corporations would be sorely tempted.

Microsoft might even start listening a bit better ;).

Re:Why (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 10 months ago | (#45606593)

Then you can't use your pirated copy of Office / Visio / Autodesk whatever.

That's the real issue.

Re:Why (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 10 months ago | (#45606645)

People might have laughed at Red Flag Linux. But if they produce a working XP compatible OS I bet a number of large corporations would be sorely tempted.

I doubt that would make a difference for the situation in China, though..... my understanding was that the reason a lot of Chinese (and Koreans for that matter) are still using XP is because the online banks have written their websites to Internet Explorer 6 and have no intention of ever changing that. There's some sort of crypto module that they're using which is an ActiveX control and completely incompatible with anything else. Some of the more technically savvy users can have XP in a VM for that purpose, but most of the users are up shit creek and have to actually have XP installed.

Re:Why (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45606253)

It's not that 8 is expensive, it's that XP has been heavily discounted due to age. A full XP licence at launch was a whole lot more expensive than a Windows 8 licence is today, even without accounting for inflation.

Re:Why (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 10 months ago | (#45606417)

Why is Microsoft selling Windows 8 for so much more than Windows XP?

To the best of my knowledge, they have not sold XP since Windows 7 was released. At least not around here. Unless you mean XP starter edition, but that is a crippled version only sold with hardware. A Windows 8 license cost considerably less than XP cost when it was actually sold.

Soooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605683)

The Chinese government wants XP's support extended because now that they have shown knowledge of widespread OS pirating they don't want to get caught doing it again.

Re:Soooo (2, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#45605803)

Oh I can think of more reasons than that. For example, Windows XP is far more exploitable as it exists almost exclusively as a 32bit OS. Keeping their people exploitable better ensures they can continue to do what "no US government would even consider doing to it's own citizens."

Also since China is extremely large, infrastructure change concerns are likely high on their list of concerns.

And yes, if they don't have to buy any new licenses at all they should be pretty good to go without spending any more money.

Re:Soooo (3, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 10 months ago | (#45605873)

Keeping their people exploitable better ensures they can continue to do what "no US government would even consider doing to it's own citizens."

Captain, we are detecting large amounts of sarcasm in this sector. (If the Chinese want to keep using an highly exploitable OS so that the USA has an edge in any cyberwar, I'd say... let them)

They'll learn soon (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605687)

For now they're still under the delusion that saving money and not needlessly upgrading are virtues. With time they'll learn to throw away perfectly good computers and millions of hours of training for shiny things.

Errr ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605699)

Isn't Windows 8 the cheapest one they've ever released (to buy)?

Re:Errr ... (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#45605763)

Indirectly. It's the one with the lowest additional value to its user.

Re:Errr ... (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45605883)

"It's the [Windows] with the lowest additional value"

That sentence scares me.

There are dark places in the universe. Depths of irrationality where mathematics are just rituals and sorcery. A chaos where what should never be is fighting to escape. In that place there's a pit that even the horrors avoid. A tear where the tapestry of reality is at its weakest point.

That's where they store "the Windows with the lowest additional value". And that's where it should stay. Watching us. Hungry.

Re:Errr ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605839)

Least valued. Easy to confuse the two.

Yeah right (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605701)

I live here (see IP) and I have NEVER, EVER seen a legitimate copy of XP.

Re:Yeah right (2)

hsa (598343) | about 10 months ago | (#45605711)

The piracy is just the reason they tell the public.

The real reason is that their firewall/surveillance software is not yet fully compatible with latest operating systems.

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605965)

Or they are telling the truth - the % of legal over % non-legal is proof that price is not aligned with the market.
I guess this 360 thing means MS does not know for sure either.

With no compelling reason to pay more for genuine, the root of the blame is clear.

What happended to red flag linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605737)

Did they find out that people just couldnt use it or was it so full of spyware that noone wanted to use it? Last time i heard a few years ago that was the official government mandated OS for China's government computers and schools.

Re:What happended to red flag linux? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605801)

Don't you mean Rinux?

Here in China... (5, Interesting)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | about 10 months ago | (#45605745)

Here in China, it is not really possible to even find a normal "legit" version of Windows. All versions found at any normal store will be pirated. A typical price for pirated Windows, sold in a professional looking box, will be about 18 yuan (~3 USD). There is even a common software program used to deliver updates to pirated XP machines. This software also comes with anti-malware tools, and is called "360." This program is the only way that China is able to keep going with Windows, circumventing copyright protection while still receiving regular updated from this service!

A few months ago I was talking to a sales clerk at a computer market. I saw stickers for Ubuntu on the laptops there, yet the operating system was obviously Windows. I pointed at the sticker with a smirk, and asked him about it, already knowing the answer. He sheepishly tried to tell me how they put on Windows because that's the standard in China. Obviously they were getting discounts from the manufacturers for dumping the Windows tax, and then turning around and installing pirated Windows on these computers. By the way, these were big brand names like Dell, HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, etc. Out of curiosity, I asked him if many people in China use Linux, and he said it is used mostly for servers (he mentioned Red Flag Linux specifically).

Re:Here in China... (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#45605795)

I gather RFL is largely a bargining ploy with which to negotiate better prices from Microsoft. MS would ideally like people to pay for windows, but failing that they would still rather see pirate windows than linux dominate.

Re:Here in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605969)

Sales people have to tow the company line; it do not matter what country they're in (that just changes what the company line contains).

Re:Here in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606249)

Every xinhua have legit copies, well, usually it's just one copy on display. You can buy it though, but they'll be surprised.

B-29 IT !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605749)

If the Chinese have shown one thing they can do extremenly well it is copy shit for the WEST !! Copy XP !! Quit yer BITCHIN !! Give each Chinaman a typewriter and let each bang away for a year !! XP-CN is sure to result !! Pay them in cigarettes !!

Pay for pirated copy? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 10 months ago | (#45605757)

...in light of the upcoming end-of-life of Windows XP, which is still used by a large percentage of Chinese. That could drive users to buy pirated copies of a new operating system..

You mean to tell me the are paying for pirated copies? Why? Honestly can't they just torrent it just like everyone else on the planet?

Re:Pay for pirated copy? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#45605799)

China is something of a contradiction, due to the very rapid industralisation. The cities are as modern as any country (if a bit more polluted), but head just a little way outside them and you'll find subsistance farmers still living as their great-great-grandparents did. I'm guessing that not everyone can get broadband.

Re:Pay for pirated copy? (1)

johnsie (1158363) | about 10 months ago | (#45605815)

Not everyone has a good internet connection. You'll also find people doing the same thing across Central America, regardless of whether there is a great firewall or not.

Re: Pay for pirated copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605837)

At $3 a pop for each pirated version, it's only a month's pay for an illegitimate license. It's like getting engaged to DOS...

Re:Pay for pirated copy? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605925)

because torrents, are poisoned.
Chinese clever, not like dumb kid in West who use torrent.

Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605787)

Microsoft "Hmmm, so... we can spend money to not get money. Or not get money. Reeeeal tough choice."

Heck maybe it'll drive Linux adoption!

Re: Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605857)

Long as they make their money doing outsourced work, they can't stray from Windows for the foreseeable future. Africa gets it: educate our kids using open source software or socially engineer a scam; neither requires Windows.

increase in price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605823)

windows 8 actually cost less than windows 7... and less than what Windows XP was priced at.
Microsoft NEVER lower the price of the OS, so even if they release Windows 8, the remaining copies of Windows 7 won't go down in price.
Go back to bed China, you're obviously drunk what with everything you're doing lately.
I say Microsoft should just release an update that borked every pirated XP machines in China. Not like they owe them anything, since the software wasn't even bought from microsoft to begin with. Pirates asking for better treatment... I've seen everything now.

Re:increase in price? (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 10 months ago | (#45606673)

Yeah. MS does that - they lose huge market without hope of ever setting foot there again. But still, better to make it quick, then prolong the agony with Windows 8.

The real reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605877)

The real reason is that there are many computers that have hardware that is not able to run recent versions with adequate speed and upgrading them with or without pirated software is too costly and they are filling their place more than well.

New model mentality (4, Insightful)

Tekoneiric (590239) | about 10 months ago | (#45605933)

The only reason software companies have the new model mentality is to make money off what they push as a new model. Software companies would be better if they shifted away from that and to doing just version updates. 90% of the development costs are paid for on an existing OS, the rest is doing bug fixes and enhancements. I personally see no reason to go to Win8, I don't care for the interface. I tolerate Win7 because I can make it mostly like XP but wish I didn't have to add software to fix the start menu. I think the drive away from the standard desktop is partly killing the desktop PC. The standard XP style desktop works. Changing it makes no sense on a desktop PC. It requires people relearn things, increases IT support costs and slows down productivity. At work my productivity has slowed down going from XP to Win7 because on Win7 I have to deal with more of the little popup context menus that get in my way no matter how much I tweak it and the copy/paste issues of Win7 drives me crazy. I don't like to side with the Chinese government on anything but on this I agree... On windows, upgrading to Win8 doesn't make much sense.

Re:New model mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606093)

Not to mention the 3 different "printer preferences" menu options on the device context menu. WTF is that. I think that's my favourite part of Windows - because I hate Windows.

Used to be there was only one "printer preferences" menu, and it was fairly consistent with how you'd expect it to behave. Now it's like "okay which f'n prefrences am I looking for on this printer"?

Re:New model mentality (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45606307)

For future reference, because you might need it some day:

"Properties" is the generic Device Properties pane you also get in Device Manager, which controls things like installing drivers. This is your lowest level.
"Printer Properties" is Windows' generic settings for printers, which controls things like sharing the printer on the network or colour profiles. This is the next highest level.
"Printer Preferences" is the manufacturer's software for controlling the printer, which controls features not supported under Windows's generic controls, like stapling or print quality. This is the highest level.

They need better names.

Re:New model mentality (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 10 months ago | (#45606627)

They need better names.

Yeah, like Windows RT and Surface.

They need better brains.

Re:New model mentality (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45606285)

What's wrong with the Windows 7 start menu? It's essentially the XP one, except you can just tap a key and enter the first few characters of the app you want instead of dragging your mouse around some enormous list. You can revert to a Windows XP-style menu bar, too. Other than that it is the bugfixed, more technically-capable version of XP that you want: MS has been iterating on that same code base for a decade and a half now.

Now, Windows 8, that was a miscalculation. One interface to rule them all is not an answer to the tablet conundrum.

Re:New model mentality (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45606319)

Err, XP-style task bar, I mean.

Re:New model mentality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606391)

With classic shell you can revert to 98 style menu, which i did. I still have the search box there, so i can type the program or go through the menu. Without classic shell the best i could get was that xp style with the empty menu at first, since i don't want to see a list of recently used documents and programs, so i had to always click on "show all programs", if i needed to get to the list.

Re:New model mentality (4, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | about 10 months ago | (#45606297)

Wait until you see Windows server 2012. Every single sysadmin said "What the Fuck??!!!" the first time he logged onto the server.

Seriously, how hard can it be to keep the Windos NT interface alongside the new one? Why keep pushing for the new GUI when most of the veterans hates to learn a new GUI?

Get with the times... (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#45605951)

India which is much poorer:
Win 7 & 8: 58%
WinXP: 30%

China:
Win 7 & 8: 43%
WinXP: 50%

Africa, South America, everywhere else that is poor XP is in massive decline. This is basically China being the odd man out, they're the only ones who want to stick to XP. Now I'm guessing most of those copies aren't legitimate, but I don't see why that should be any different in China than the rest of the world. It's just that XP is the de facto standard I guess.

Re:Get with the times... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606045)

China has more common sense when it get's to choice of UI, judging by those numbers. If getting with the times meaning ingesting every kind of tripe new paradigm that companies decide to shove down people's throats, than it's better not to go with the times.

Code Audits And Custom Patches. (3, Insightful)

enter to exit (1049190) | about 10 months ago | (#45605955)

Another reason for keeping xp is that they very likely have the xp code audited and custom patched to their liking.

bad BIOS saga continues - 12/13 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45605957)

Scientist-developed malware prototype covertly jumps air gaps using inaudible sound
-
Malware communicates at a distance of 65 feet using built-in mics and speakers.

by Dan Goodin - Dec 2, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

http://arstechnica.com/author/dan-goodin [arstechnica.com]
https://twitter.com/dangoodin001 [twitter.com]

"Dan is the IT Security Editor at Ars Technica, which he joined in 2012 after working for The Register, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, and other publications."

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/ [arstechnica.com]

-
Topology of a covert mesh network that connects air-gapped computers to the Internet:

http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/acoustical-mesh-network.jpg [arstechnica.net]

http://www.jocm.us/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=124&id=600 [www.jocm.us]
-

"Computer scientists have proposed a malware prototype that uses inaudible audio signals to communicate, a capability that allows the malware to covertly transmit keystrokes and other sensitive data even when infected machines have no network connection.

The proof-of-concept software-or malicious trojans that adopt the same high-frequency communication methods-could prove especially adept in penetrating highly sensitive environments that routinely place an "air gap" between computers and the outside world. Using nothing more than the built-in microphones and speakers of standard computers, the researchers were able to transmit passwords and other small amounts of data from distances of almost 65 feet. The software can transfer data at much greater distances by employing an acoustical mesh network made up of attacker-controlled devices that repeat the audio signals.

The researchers, from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics[1], recently disclosed their findings in a paper published in the Journal of Communications[2]. It came a few weeks after a security researcher said his computers were infected with a mysterious piece of malware that used high-frequency transmissions to jump air gaps[3]. The new research neither confirms nor disproves Dragos Ruiu's claims of the so-called badBIOS infections, but it does show that high-frequency networking is easily within the grasp of today's malware."

[1] http://www.fkie.fraunhofer.de/en.html [fraunhofer.de]
[2] http://www.jocm.us/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=124&id=600 [www.jocm.us]
[3] http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/meet-badbios-the-mysterious-mac-and-pc-malware-that-jumps-airgaps/ [arstechnica.com]

""In our article, we describe how the complete concept of air gaps can be considered obsolete as commonly available laptops can communicate over their internal speakers and microphones and even form a covert acoustical mesh network," one of the authors, Michael Hanspach, wrote in an e-mail. "Over this covert network, information can travel over multiple hops of infected nodes, connecting completely isolated computing systems and networks (e.g. the internet) to each other. We also propose some countermeasures against participation in a covert network."

The researchers developed several ways to use inaudible sounds to transmit data between two Lenovo T400 laptops using only their built-in microphones and speakers. The most effective technique relied on software originally developed to acoustically transmit data under water. Created by the Research Department for Underwater Acoustics and Geophysics in Germany, the so-called adaptive communication system (ACS) modem was able to transmit data between laptops as much as 19.7 meters (64.6 feet) apart. By chaining additional devices that pick up the signal and repeat it to other nearby devices, the mesh network can overcome much greater distances.

The ACS modem provided better reliability than other techniques that were also able to use only the laptops' speakers and microphones to communicate. Still, it came with one significant drawback-a transmission rate of about 20 bits per second, a tiny fraction of standard network connections. The paltry bandwidth forecloses the ability of transmitting video or any other kinds of data with large file sizes. The researchers said attackers could overcome that shortcoming by equipping the trojan with functions that transmit only certain types of data, such as login credentials captured from a keylogger or a memory dumper.

"This small bandwidth might actually be enough to transfer critical information (such as keystrokes)," Hanspach wrote. "You don't even have to think about all keystrokes. If you have a keylogger that is able to recognize authentication materials, it may only occasionally forward these detected passwords over the network, leading to a very stealthy state of the network. And you could forward any small-sized information such as private encryption keys or maybe malicious commands to an infected piece of construction."
Remember Flame?

The hurdles of implementing covert acoustical networking are high enough that few malware developers are likely to add it to their offerings anytime soon. Still, the requirements are modest when measured against the capabilities of Stuxnet, Flame, and other state-sponsored malware discovered in the past 18 months. And that means that engineers in military organizations, nuclear power plants, and other truly high-security environments should no longer assume that computers isolated from an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection are off limits.

The research paper suggests several countermeasures that potential targets can adopt. One approach is simply switching off audio input and output devices, although few hardware designs available today make this most obvious countermeasure easy. A second approach is to employ audio filtering that blocks high-frequency ranges used to covertly transmit data. Devices running Linux can do this by using the advanced Linux Sound Architecture in combination with the Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API. Similar approaches are probably available for Windows and Mac OS X computers as well. The researchers also proposed the use of an audio intrusion detection guard, a device that would "forward audio input and output signals to their destination and simultaneously store them inside the guard's internal state, where they are subject to further analyses."

* * *
Update
* * *

On Wednesday Hanspach issued the following statement:

        Fraunhofer FKIE is actively involved in information security research. Our mission is to strengthen security by the means of early detection and prevention of potential threats. The research on acoustical mesh networks in air was aimed at demonstrating the upcoming threat of covert communication technologies. Fraunhofer FKIE does not develop any malware or viruses and the presented proof-of-concept does not spread to other computing systems, but constitutes only a covert communication channel between hypothetical instantiations of a malware. The ultimate goal of the presented research project is to raise awareness for these kinds of attacks, and to deliver appropriate countermeasures to our customers.

Story updated to add "prototype" to the first sentence and headline and to change "developed" to "proposed," in the first sentence. The changes are intended to make clear the researchers have not created a piece of working malware."

-
RE: #badBIOS, badBIOS, bad BIOS
-

* * *
Some User Comments:
* * *

"What makes so many people here think that getting a computer first infected is such an impossible task?

Who is to To say computers don't come pre-configured with that ability in hardware, say the CPU? We know that the NSA has altered silicon in the "distant" past and if there is anything recent revelations have taught us then it is that things have only ever become technically more advanced and aggressive in the last ten years or so.

Remember: just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you....Australia being happy to share medical records of its ordinary citizens being a prime example of that in today's press."

Amadeus71 Smack-Fu Master, in traininget Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785017#comment-25785017 [arstechnica.com]

-

"This was controversial at the time Dragos Ruiu brought it up. My guess was that it was possible, I'm glad to see someone actually put in the hard work to find out! Good job Fraunhofer."

MujokanArs Praetorian

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785087#comment-25785087 [arstechnica.com]

-

"Human hearing also gets worse at high frequencies before cutting out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour [wikipedia.org]

Several years ago, I had a neighbor with an old-fangled CRT TV. I couldn't hear its 15.9kHz squeal from my apartment, but it did show up clearly in spectral graphs of recordings I made while it was on. It's not hard to imagine something using audio band frequencies at volumes low enough to escape audibility but still able to be picked up by nearby microphones."

LnxPrgr3 Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785217#comment-25785217 [arstechnica.com]

-

"The signal can be hidden in fully audible sounds, so that wouldn't help much. As other commenters have alluded, using spread-spectrum techniques, a signal can be hidden in a way that looks like just part of the ambient noise environment, at many different frequencies, perhaps both at the same time and in a time-varying distribution. For example, if there is a fan (perhaps a notebook fan) going in the environment, that can be measured, and information could be encoded in a slight deformation of that sound signature, in a way that no one would notice. Or if someone is speaking, tiny undetectable side-frequencies could be added in a way that sounds like part of their voice, but isn't really. Or if you use a random spread-spectrum approach, it could just sound like a slight bit of white noise in the background, a little hiss, that mingles with all the noise around you.

Be afraid. In cyberspace, all microphones can hear you scream."

AreWeThereYeti Ars Scholae Palatinaeet Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785535#comment-25785535 [arstechnica.com]
-

"If you're breaking your laptop open to put a capacitor across your speaker why not cut the wires or put a mechanical switch in instead?"

Wickwick Ars Scholae Palatinae

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25786631#comment-25786631 [arstechnica.com]
-

"Personally I would physically disable every mic and speaker on these air-gapped computers, juts in case."

blacke Ars Praetorianet Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25789071#comment-25789071 [arstechnica.com]
-

"I wonder if you couldn't just cut off a jack from some old headphones, and keep it plugged in as a countermeasure..."

zantoka Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25791713#comment-25791713 [arstechnica.com]
-

"NorthGuy wrote:
My florescent light has been buzzing for weeks, do you think it's trying to hack my computer?"

Li-Fi

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128225.400-will-lifi-be-the-new-wifi.html [newscientist.com]

Jimmy McNulty Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25792319#comment-25792319 [arstechnica.com]
-

"are the sounds in their [mainstream] music transmitting data to invaded brains?"

DaHum Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25799877#comment-25799877 [arstechnica.com]

-

The New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 specifies certain circumstances where all or a substantial part of a copyright work may be used without the copyright owner's permission. A "fair dealing" with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes: research or private study; criticism or review; or reporting current events.

-

* * *
Related Story:
* * *

Researchers create malware that communicates via silent sound, no network needed

"When security researcher Dragos Ruiu claimed malware dubbed "badBIOS"[1] allowed infected machines to communicate using sound waves alone-no network connection needed-people said he was crazy. New research from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics suggests he's all too sane.

As outlined in the Journal of Communications (PDF)[2] and first spotted by ArsTechnica[3], the proof-of-concept malware prototype from Michael Hanspach and Michael Goetz can transmit information between computers using high-frequency sound waves inaudible to the human ear. The duo successfully sent passwords and more between non-networked Lenovo T400 laptops via the notebooks' built-in microphones and speakers. Freaky-deaky!

"The infected victim sends all recorded keystrokes to the covert acoustical mesh network. Infected drones forward the keystroke information inside the covert network till the attacker is reached."

The most successful method was based on software developed for underwater communications. The laptops could communicate a full 65 feet apart from each other, and the researchers say the range could be extended by chaining devices together in an audio "mesh" network, similar to the way Wi-Fi repeaters work.

While the research doesn't prove Ruiu's badBIOS claims, it does show that the so-called "air gap" defense-that is, leaving computers with critical information disconnected from any networks-could still be vulnerable to dedicated attackers, if attackers are first able to infect the PC with audio mesh-enabled malware."

[1] http://www.pcworld.com/article/2060360/security-researcher-says-new-malware-can-affect-your-bios-be-transmitted-via-the-air.html [pcworld.com]
[2] http://www.jocm.us/uploadfile/2013/1125/20131125103803901.pdf [www.jocm.us]
[3] http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/ [arstechnica.com]

-

Sending data via sound

http://images.techhive.com/images/article/2013/12/air-gap-keystrokes-100154940-orig.png [techhive.com]

-

"Transmitting data via sound waves has one glaring drawback, however: It's slow. Terribly slow. Hanspach and Goetz's malware topped out at a sluggish 20 bits-per-second transfer rate, but that was still fast enough to transmit keystrokes, passwords, PGP encryption keys, and other small bursts of information.

"We use the keylogging software logkeys for our experiment," they wrote. "The infected victim sends all recorded keystrokes to the covert acoustical mesh network. Infected drones forward the keystroke information inside the covert network till the attacker is reached, who is now able to read the current keyboard input of the infected victim from a distant place."

In another test, the researchers used sound waves to send keystroke information to a network-connected computer, which then sent the information to the "attacker" via email.

Now for the good news: This advanced proof-of-concept prototype isn't likely to work its way into everyday malware anytime soon, especially since badware that communicates via normal Net means should be all that's needed to infect the PCs of most users. Nevertheless, it's ominous to see the last-line "air gap" defense fall prey to attack-especially in an age of state-sponsored malware run rampant."

#

The New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 specifies certain circumstances where all or a substantial part of a copyright work may be used without the copyright owner's permission. A "fair dealing" with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes: research or private study; criticism or review; or reporting current events.

##

EOT

No problem (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 10 months ago | (#45605959)

I don't see the problem here. The price of Windows 8 is not more than Windows XP. And if the price is still a problem, just use a cracked copy like they did with huge amount of XP installations.

Or just use the old negotiation tactic:

Microsoft: XP support is ending but we are selling you this magnificent new operating system called Windows 8.
China: Gee, I dunno, the price is kind of high. I think we'll just go with Linux...
Microsoft: *gasp* Well, well, I believe we can negotiate something. Please, sit down, and would you like a cup of coffee? How about this new special price for you...
China: Ok!

Re:No problem (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 10 months ago | (#45606049)

I don't see the problem here. The price of Windows 8 is not more than Windows XP. And if the price is still a problem, just use a cracked copy like they did with huge amount of XP installations.

China had a discounted cost, feature limited, licensed copy of Windows XP and Windows 7 available (if you could find them - good luck with that!) in a mostly futile attempt to bring the endemic mass piracy of software under control. The Windows 7 version was discontinued with the launch of Windows 8, so the only legitimate option left in China is to buy or upgrade to a version of Windows 8.x that costs significantly more than new Windows XP/7 basic licenses used to cost.

I think that reintroducing that option for Windows 8 is probably Microsoft's best tactic here - extending XP support again just postpones the inevitable repeat because China and South Korea *still* won't have cut their ties to XP by the new date, and will no doubt ask for another extention, and then another... It generates some revenue and throws the general Chinese populace a bone, for everything else they should have been planning the move to an alternate platform (Windows or otherwise) along with almost everyone else in the world with any clue of what's going to happen when support stops. Failing that, they can pay through the nose for Microsoft's extended support of XP option, or make available some third party tool to try and secure Windows XP as best they can, perhaps in conjunction with some support from that Great Firewall we keep hearing about.

Re:No problem (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#45606205)

They did. Thus Red Flag Linux.

If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (2, Informative)

ukoda (537183) | about 10 months ago | (#45605967)

I live in China but don't read Chinese. Last year I brought a netbook here with the intent of running Linux Mint. Because I wanted more than the 2GB RAM limit on the knock-off models I brought a genuine Samsung which came with Windows 7. Having paid for an unwanted copy of Windows I thought I would look at dual booting it. It's been a long time since I used Windows so I had a play to see what Windows was like. I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable. Microsoft really don't promote legal use of their products with such attitudes! I personally didn't mind as it just meant Linux got 100% of the HDD.

In fairness to Microsoft I suspect Windows would be pirated here unless it was free or very close to free. People here don't seem to care. I guess it is one of the reasons for the low uptake of Linux here, no price difference so less motivation to investigate alternatives.

Re:If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606031)

Microsoft sells the chinese versions much cheaper than the others, so they use the language barrier to make sure people don't just buy the chinese version and set the language to English.

Re:If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 10 months ago | (#45606047)

I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable. Microsoft really don't promote legal use of their products with such attitudes!

I don't quite understand, you were surprised by this? You were in China and bought a netbook locally, of course it's going to be the Chinese version of Windows.
I understand the interfaces used on many Linux distros come with support for a large number of languages out of the box, but Windows comes in different versions for different languages and the ability to change the entire operating system to a different language is a feature you have to buy. It's always been that way and I'm not sure if that even changed in Windows 8. I'm sure part of this is to recoup the development costs with translating and localizing the OS.

Most customers can't read another language fluently enough and have the desire to change their computer OS to it, so it's not really something that drives people to piracy. You can still run programs in other languages in the operating system often (given you added the necessary keyboard support for input/fonts), it's just Windows itself that's stuck in one tongue.

Re:If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (4, Insightful)

teg (97890) | about 10 months ago | (#45606079)

I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable. Microsoft really don't promote legal use of their products with such attitudes!

I don't quite understand, you were surprised by this? You were in China and bought a netbook locally, of course it's going to be the Chinese version of Windows. I understand the interfaces used on many Linux distros come with support for a large number of languages out of the box, but Windows comes in different versions for different languages and the ability to change the entire operating system to a different language is a feature you have to buy. It's always been that way and I'm not sure if that even changed in Windows 8. I'm sure part of this is to recoup the development costs with translating and localizing the OS.

The reason is not the recoup the development costs - the reason is Price Discrimination [wikipedia.org] : The ability to charge a different price in different markets. The optimal price for Windows in the US is much different than the optimal price for Windows in China - and if you can charge different prices here, Microsoft will make more money. Restricting language change is one mechanism to avoid Americans paying Chinese prices.

Re:If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 10 months ago | (#45606245)

The reason is not the recoup the development costs - the reason is Price Discrimination [wikipedia.org] : The ability to charge a different price in different markets. The optimal price for Windows in the US is much different than the optimal price for Windows in China - and if you can charge different prices here, Microsoft will make more money. Restricting language change is one mechanism to avoid Americans paying Chinese prices.

I haven't seen the multilingual pricing of Windows in years, but it was an add-on iirc. You didn't have to pay $WindowsChina + $WindowsEn-US to get a version that could be switched between both.

You bring up a good point, language locking would allow region-locking (in a loose way), but I still feel development costs are also a factor in this. Professional translators aren't cheap and sometimes dialog and menu commands (and interface element sizes) get changed as words/phrasing that does not directly translate from the original English. Not to mention legal text having to be adapted to the market's local laws. Microsoft doesn't have a group of people doing this for free like a FOSS OS would.

Re:If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (2)

pne (93383) | about 10 months ago | (#45606051)

I live in China but don't read Chinese. Last year I brought a netbook here with the intent of running Linux Mint. Because I wanted more than the 2GB RAM limit on the knock-off models I brought a genuine Samsung which came with Windows 7. Having paid for an unwanted copy of Windows I thought I would look at dual booting it. It's been a long time since I used Windows so I had a play to see what Windows was like. I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable.

Why single out China? If you bought your computer in the US but didn't speak English (perhaps your native language is Spanish... or even Chinese!), I don't think you can switch Windows to be in Spanish or Chinese without paying for a language pack or a Chinese-language installation CD.

Re:If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606225)

you can do with osx or linux. didn't realize windows was so braindead.

Re:If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606361)

You can do it with the Ultimate version, which also has some additional features and, of course, costs more

Micro$oft loves 1) profit 2) "piracy" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606023)

Why the fuck would they do anything else than what they're doing right now?

And why the fuck would anybody use a Micro$oft product?

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606025)

Translation: Please keep supporting Windows XP because...
1. All the Rootkit XP's out there have China backdoors in them that we don't want closed
2. Counterfeit Windows has rootkits installed by identity thieves, NSA, Russian hackers etc
3. Windows 8 is too expensive, unwanted (or both)
4. Chinese can't crack the Activation mechanism to Win8.

Like the legitmate answer is 3, but if you've ever lived in ... oh any city on the Pacific coast (either in Korea/Japan or Vancouver/Seattle/SF) you'd notice that the most pirated versions of Windows are in fact Windows XP Chinese versions (eg Taiwan)

Likewise, anytime I've fixed a computer for someone... even though it has the English interface, it's always a Chinese copy. It's that prolific.

Microsoft should actually take this opportunity to open some pieces of XP and hand it to ReactOS, or maybe just BSD licence the parts needed for better compatibility.

This solves two problems
1. Pirated/Counterfeit XP copies are no longer needed to run XP legacy software
2. Microsoft could in fact completely drop all backwards compatibility for 32bit software in the next version of Windows (installable as a "extra" cost) and force developers hands to finally develop software in 64bit mode.

Yes I'm talking about fragmenting the desktop OS on purpose, or haven't you noticed how bulky Windows is? The type of fragmenting I'm talking about is having developers build AMD64 versions for windows 8+ using secure API's instead of legacy ones. (The C runtime itself has _s versions that take a size parameter just to avoid the buffer overflow problems)

Nothing about China is legit (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 10 months ago | (#45606057)

They're going to be pirating the software anyway, so claiming MS needs to extend XP support as an anti-piracy measure is laughable. It's bad enough that they are responsible for so much of the spam and virus crap. I'd love to see their government somehow do what it wants, and completely isolate the people from the internet entirely, spam and all.

Wishes and horses.

Re:Nothing about China is legit (0)

amalcolm (1838434) | about 10 months ago | (#45606137)

Nothing about China is legit Citation required - otherwise it's nothing but racism China makes all your shiny toys

Re:Nothing about China is legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606171)

does this do? http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4519459&cid=45605745

Re:Nothing about China is legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606427)

Refutation: The Taklamakan desert is legit.

lies, damn lies! (3, Interesting)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 10 months ago | (#45606275)

He linked the demise of XP to China’s efforts to stem software piracy by making pirated software seem a better option. “These practices affect the smooth operations of genuine software in China,” Yan Xiaohong is quoted as saying.

Windows XP is easy to pirate but Win 7/8 is a total pain in the ass and updates thwart previously working cracks. Wouldn't this mean that moving to Win 7/8 would be more likely to prevent piracy? Then again, they could just help ReactOS, they sure as hell have reverse engineered Windows enough to make a proper implementation.

Hey, Chicoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606277)

Upgrade to Vista.

ReactOS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45606313)

IMHO, This is exactly where ReactOS will help, and run a generation of applications without Licensing nor waiting for Microsoft to patch stuff.

Re:ReactOS (3, Insightful)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#45606401)

Only if it is ever finished.

Ancient Chinese Secret (3, Insightful)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#45606407)

Keep using what works.

I hope Microsoft tells them to get stuffed (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 10 months ago | (#45606433)

I hope Microsoft does NOT give in to the demands of China for extending XP support, that OS (and the ancient broken version of IE it shipped with) need to die and ending security updates for it will be a good way to help do that.

stop proliferation of pirated Microsoft software (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | about 10 months ago | (#45606551)

LOL funniest thing I heard all day

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