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China Bans Government Purchases of Windows 8

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the everybody's-got-priorities dept.

China 200

itwbennett (1594911) writes "Last week, China's Central Government Procurement Center posted a notice on new requirements for government tender, that included, among other things, the mysterious request that Windows 8 be excluded from the bidding process on computer purchases. The agency could not be reached Tuesday, but China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency said that the government was forbidding the use of Windows 8 after Microsoft recently ended official support for Windows XP."

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So do we end up with the ironic situation (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 7 months ago | (#47047299)

where china windows XP is supported but not united states XP?

Re:So do we end up with the ironic situation (4, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 7 months ago | (#47047387)

but to have it supported you first need to buy a licence for it... that kinda rules out Chinese copies of XP.

Re:So do we end up with the ironic situation (5, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 7 months ago | (#47047671)

On the flip side, forcing everyone to use Windows 8 would be a violation of fundamental human decency.

Re:So do we end up with the ironic situation (1)

savuporo (658486) | about 7 months ago | (#47048373)

Also, it would be against Geneva convention

Re:So do we end up with the ironic situation (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 7 months ago | (#47048473)

Also, it would be against Geneva convention

Well, at least MS can count on a big CIA purchase then.

Decision based on other world leaders experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048627)

Linux (1)

johnsie (1158363) | about 7 months ago | (#47047301)

They are obviously heading for open source instead of being locked in to Microsoft.

Re:Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047347)

Governments have enough money to hire programmers with enough knowledge to look at the source code and make sure it's NSA bullshit-free.

It's the same reason on should be wary of closed source code written in China... the shenanigans that can be covered up is massive.

Re:Linux (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 7 months ago | (#47047705)

Even if they could review the source, there's no assurance that the binaries provided actually come from said sources. Further, there's no assurance that the "NSA bullshit" is in any way obvious. It could be as simple as an exploitable memory leak which can be tripped in certain, very rare conditions that would have no indication at all of being exploitable or "NSA bullshit".

My guess is that China wants to start pushing their "Red Flag Linux [wikipedia.org] so that they can at least have a chance at knowing when their security is compromised.

Re:Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047747)

Even if they could review the source, there's no assurance that the binaries provided actually come from said sources.

So compile/check it yourself.

It could be as simple as an exploitable memory leak which can be tripped in certain, very rare conditions that would have no indication at all of being exploitable or "NSA bullshit".

Well yes, but it's still better than proprietary software, where you have almost zero chance of finding out.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047905)

Even if they could review the source, there's no assurance that the binaries provided actually come from said sources.

So compile/check it yourself.

You need to trust trust to trust in your compiler!

Re:Linux (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 7 months ago | (#47048139)

So, isn't gcc one source? Just compile the compil...oh...

Re:Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048219)

You need to trust trust to trust in your compiler!

I normally toggle the boot code directly into the front panel, then use a hex keypad to enter the base OS and compiler bytecode directly. This all happens while all electronic components are in a Faraday cage.

Of course, this happens only after I use an electron microscope to verify the silicon traces on each individual chip die and pass each chip through customized black-box and integration tests to verify there is no undefined behavior or data leakage.

I estimate that in 37 years I will have a perfectly secure Altair 8080 that I started working on 40 years ago. 77 years is totally reasonable for a secure computing base.

Re:Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048263)

I know we're all joking around here, but there's some people that still haven't been caught up on why this is a non-issue.

In short, for those of you who want to know how you can trust that your compiler doesn't have a backdoor in it, you do this. [schneier.com]

Re:Linux (0)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about 7 months ago | (#47047791)

And who said you had to use the binaries that are provided? If you've got access to the source and happen to be paranoid as hell, compile it yourself.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048237)

Doesn't alleviate the headache of fully checking your compiler's source code to make sure it doesn't do anything nefarious in select circumstances.

Re:Linux (1)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | about 7 months ago | (#47048401)

Or maybe, be able to requisition all those machines into a giant botnet ready to be used as weapons in a cyberwar.

Re:Linux (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#47047735)

They are obviously heading for open source instead of being locked in to Microsoft.

You would be surprised at how little Linux is used in China. A few years ago, I went to a Linux User Group meeting in Shanghai. Nearly everyone there was either an expat or a haigui, and most of the meeting was conducted in English. When I bought a computer at a local shop, and asked them to install Linux instead of the normal pirated copy of XP, the shopkeeper told me no one had ever requested that before. I have never understood why the Chinese government doesn't promote Linux, rather than relying on a foreign corporation. Open source should naturally appeal to them, since they are nominally commies anyway.

Re:Linux (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 7 months ago | (#47048049)

They did for a while, with Red Flag Linux. I thought that was going to be huge. But for some reason its dead now. No idea why. It seems like they could have spared a little bit of money on supporting that on a larger scale than they did. Short sided, IMHO.

Re:Linux (-1, Flamebait)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 7 months ago | (#47048065)

Well, if it they were building a barn that was only 5 feet wide, then it would be short sided. I think this might be more short *sighted*. Genious.

Re:Linux (1, Offtopic)

ai4px (1244212) | about 7 months ago | (#47048309)

I hate to be a hater, but if you are ragging on a guy for misspelling SIGHTED, you should not misspell Genious (Genius). Not to be confused with a beer by a similar name.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048663)

Dude, you just hated on a guy for correcting himself. Not to mention the ironic finish that failed to smack you as it sailed overhead.

Re:Linux (1)

laird (2705) | about 7 months ago | (#47048161)

When everyone runs Windows OS and Apps for free, what incentive is there to run Linux? That's the down-side of widespread piracy of closed-source software - it is proprietary so it can't be improved by anyone else, and since it's (effectively) free, that wipes out the incentive to make a better competitor, because there's no business return on the (massive) investment and effort to migrate off of Windows.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048341)

So having choices and being able to verify them (open source) is communist, but being forced to trust a single source, without being able to check their source code, because fuck you, that's freedom?

Re:Linux (2)

codecore (395864) | about 7 months ago | (#47047771)

I'd say it's more accurate to speculate that they have the Win 8 source code and will roll out their own.

Re:Linux (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 7 months ago | (#47048169)

Exactly. Just takes time to vet the code, and 'fix' all the exploits the NSA put into it.

8.1 update mandatory then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047327)

In related news, China is the strongest proponent of Windows 8.1 update.

makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047333)

They probably want to pirate it

Re:makes sense (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047685)

No, this is proof of the recent industrial espionage allegations against China; they've obviously seen the source code for Windows 8, and they know they don't want it.

Re:makes sense (2)

geogob (569250) | about 7 months ago | (#47047755)

I didn't need to see the source code for Windows 8 to come to the same conclusion...

Re:makes sense (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 7 months ago | (#47047899)

No, this is proof of the recent industrial espionage allegations against China; they've obviously seen the source code for Windows 8, and they know they don't want it.

Actually Microsoft gives governments (No espionage needed) access to the windows and office source code including the US, Russia, China and other big licenser's. My guess is in this case it backfired and they found shit in it they don't want to touch with a ten foot pole. Possibly another _NSAKEY check?

Re:makes sense (4, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | about 7 months ago | (#47048023)

Yes, they give access to source code, but no instructions on how to build a binary that's 1:1 identical to the released version. This source code, for what it's worth, isn't proof that the release version is spyware-free.

considering what is known about the NSA (5, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | about 7 months ago | (#47047335)

seems like the rest of the entire world would ban everything that comes from the USA, or even just passed through the USA, things like routers, computers & software, TVs, Stereos, portable radios, cellphones, anything electronic, the NSA's spying methods have basically gutted any confidence & trust the rest of the world would have in the USA

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047411)

Of course, America will be complete assholes and basically turn it into a trade dispute.

I agree countries should be doing exactly what you suggest, and basically tell the US to go fuck themselves.

America has a sketchy definition of "national sovereignty" when it isn't their own.

Fuck America.

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047521)

Please, not the people. Some of us are awake and trying to educate (awaken) others. I think trumpeting it loud and clear from the rest of the world what the American government is doing might help wake the others up.

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047659)

And nothing better to do that than to basically have the rest of the world boycott your fucking products and stop cooperating with you.

When Americans finally realize their own jobs are on the line, they'll make their own politicians do something.

As long as the rank and file American is oblivious to this ... well, then they're part of the fucking problem, and deserve to be caught up in it.

If the overwhelming response in the US is "who cares what happens in some foreign country", then it's too fucking bad, and it's time to bring it home to them.

Americans like to hide behind the fact that most of your populace is ignorant ill informed. It's time that became your problem, and not ours. If your populace is stupid and allows your politicians to do shit like this, then your populace should be the ones who pay the consequences.

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (1)

laird (2705) | about 7 months ago | (#47048191)

It's already happening. I think that it was Cisco that just made the economic case (10-25% drops in sales, depending on the country) due the NSA's corrupting the company's products in transit. Because when the NSA's behavior drive the whole planet to buy someone else's products, that's bad for business.

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (2)

Anonymous Bullard (62082) | about 7 months ago | (#47048525)

And nothing better to do that than to basically have the rest of the world boycott your fucking products and stop cooperating with you.

When Americans finally realize their own jobs are on the line, they'll make their own politicians do something.

As long as the rank and file American is oblivious to this ... well, then they're part of the fucking problem, and deserve to be caught up in it.

If the overwhelming response in the US is "who cares what happens in some foreign country", then it's too fucking bad, and it's time to bring it home to them.

Americans like to hide behind the fact that most of your populace is ignorant ill informed. It's time that became your problem, and not ours. If your populace is stupid and allows your politicians to do shit like this, then your populace should be the ones who pay the consequences.

I agree with that sentiment in general and while the United States of America continues down a very slippery slope they can still be talked out of it. Their crippled institutions still have a large, albeit disparate civil society interested in change of direction.

But since the issue here was initially about the Chinese "Communist" Party (aka self-declared government of China with more tentacles than most outsiders realize) banning a significant american export from that market, I can't but see the irony here.

It was the USA in 1970s (as proudly represented by Kissinger and Nixon) who rehabilitated the most murderous regime in history just to flip the USSR the finger, and Clinton completed the task 20 years later by granting that regime the Most Favored Nation status and trade priviledges. Most. Favored. Nation.

Next the US let the PRC become full-fledged member of the WTO and again without any concrete concessions. The US however gladly dropped their earlier post-WWII human rights objectives (like freedom for Tibetans whose country was invaded and annexed by China in 1950), being happy to continue with a less trade-disruptive and brief annual criticism facade.

This was the final call for certain types of wealthy europeans to join the "party" and join forces with the CCP's upcoming 5-year plans.

In the last twenty years the PRC has been busy massively building up all their military forces, acquiring nearly all available western manufacturing knowledge (fairly or not) and vacuuming foreign currency reserves with the help of globalization and the wealthiest class of westerners keen on maximizing their "ROI" without bothersome welfare taxes.

Now that the second twenty-year cycle is complete we suddenly find a People's Republic of China that is aggressively claiming maritime territories very far from its shores (but very near most of its Asia-Pacific neighbours!) and increasingly willing to attack anyone willing criticize it in any way.

See where this is going?

Czar Putin already did. He engineered a significant gas/trade-dependency for major European economies and that completed he knew he could repeat China's anachronistic land grab of neighbour's territories without any noticeable repercussions.

Point being that when trade was stopped to be harnessed towards achieving positive political and human rights development, the new unfiltered free trade was turned into a tool against those very objectives.

So here we are. With a political hierarchy in the western world having the business class dictating that economic sanctions are not acceptable. Interestingly it is very much simpler under CCP and Putin, both of which are accomplished in punitive boycotts. And now, "Yes they can!"

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048623)

Why should the US give a single shit about any other country? It's not like any of them are doing anything besides bitching and moaning about how the evil US has ruined the world. The hatred hurled at the US over the past decade has eroded any chance of the average American really caring about what foreigners think. US politicians, like politicians world wide, are morons but when it comes to foreign policy they do listen to the public. No politician is going to win an election these days pushing an interventionist foreign policy. In fact they have a much better chance of winning an election by pushing a foreign policy of benign if not total neglect. It's already started to happen if you take a look at the world right now. The mid-east is mired in unchecked violence, forced migrations, and there is no solution in sight. eastern Europe is being slowly brought back under the soviet boot and the western Europeans are just as incompetent as they have always been when it comes defending their interests. This time around they are own their own which means they probably should write up the surrender documents and save everyone the drama. SE Asia is on the verge of military conflict across the resource rich South China sea and there is no sign that this problem is going to get any better any time soon. As a matter of fact it will most certainly get worse. This conflict will pull in 2 of the 3 top world economies and the top 3 of 3 if the US decides to honor it's defense treaty obligations which at this point is not a for sure thing given the mood of the general US population. Treaty or no treaty the average US citizen has been under assault for so long from insufferable foreigners that treaties can be easily annulled by populist politicians looking to advance themselves domestically. Meanwhile the US has chosen energy self sufficiency over climate control and jobs that were once outsourced to cheaper manufacturers are returning as the cost savings decrease due to the rise in living standards in the countries which prospered on cheap labor. China has advanced by exploiting cheap labor. Not innovation, reliability, or friendly customer service. US energy self sufficiency has also attracted foreign manufactures to the US due to the cheaper energy costs and reduced shipping costs for their goods. So again I ask why should the average US citizen worry about offending or ignoring foreigners who stereotype, insult, and constantly deride them as fat and stupid idiots?

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (1, Troll)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 7 months ago | (#47048225)

That "'sketchy definition of "national sovereignty' when it isn't their own," is so unlike the other Five Eyes, the EU, Russia, BRICS, and, oh, say, China. Might I point out that we're all in one big round (or slightly oval) glass house, eh?

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047451)

Exactly! I don't blame them one bit... I also no longer purchase Microsoft, or any other company that does the Fed's bidding.

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (1)

Threni (635302) | about 7 months ago | (#47047549)

Most of those things pass through the USA on their way from the far east (korea, japan, and of course china).

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047697)

Related? [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:considering what is known about the NSA (1)

wiggles (30088) | about 7 months ago | (#47048421)

You say this as though China is innocent [welivesecurity.com] of such shenanigans. It's been known for years that they backdoor stuff made in China - we still buy all our crap from them.

China produces a shitload of computers, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047339)

Seems like they might want to play a little bit nice with Microsoft...

They are going back to OS/2 (3, Informative)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 7 months ago | (#47047363)

Might as well use some other unsupported OS

Re:They are going back to OS/2 (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about 7 months ago | (#47047379)

you are silly, windows 7 supported until 2020 at least

Re:They are going back to OS/2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047981)

Then explain to me why they aren't making an SP2...

Re:They are going back to OS/2 (2)

FudRucker (866063) | about 7 months ago | (#47047407)

China has a state sponsored Linux distribution, plus at least one other distribution being developed in China, why do you think people MUST use MS_Windows, i have not had windows on a PC in over 10 years and i am doing fine without it

Re:They are going back to OS/2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047879)

China has a state sponsored Linux distribution, plus at least one other distribution being developed in China

Seems like a no-lose proposition for China... revenge on Microsoft for killing Windows XP support (which is a pain for China); strong encouragement to government departments to look for alternatives to Windows (especially domestic OS's with no NSA back doors*). All the while, keeping Windows 7 open as an option when absolutely necessary**.

Plus avoid the pos that is the Windows 8 desktop interface.

* a gentle reminder that Chinese state back doors are a non-issue here -- this is for internal use by the Chinese government after all
** the cynic in me says that Windows 7 probably has special back doors for every government that has asked anyway (no idea of the actual truth here though)

Re:They are going back to OS/2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048175)

Linux is hardly a desktop OS for the masses. Stop being obtuse.

Only Windows 8, not Windows System 7... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047369)

It's Windows 8, not Windows System 7 that M$ is still selling.

To be fair, they'll probably buy one copy... (1)

gubon13 (2695335) | about 7 months ago | (#47047425)

...and then do absolutely nothing to stop the rampant pirating of that copy...

Re:To be fair, they'll probably buy one copy... (1)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 7 months ago | (#47048211)

...and then do absolutely nothing to stop the rampant pirating of that copy...

Stop it? They'd promote it! ...after hacking it to send keystrokes and user-data to their own intelligence servers.
Windows CN, coming to a torrent near you.

Breaking: (5, Funny)

mujadaddy (1238164) | about 7 months ago | (#47047439)

This just in: China was considering paying for an operating system!

because nobody anywhere else pirates Windows... (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 7 months ago | (#47047729)

I love how you pretend that China is the only place where Windows is pirated. I'm pretty sure piracy of Windows is widespread in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and all of Asia.

Re:because nobody anywhere else pirates Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047877)

whoosh
captcha: apology

Re:because nobody anywhere else pirates Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047987)

I love how you pretend that China is the only place where Windows is pirated

Umm...no, OP did not imply that at all.

OP implied that all Windows in China is pirated.* This is not the same as implying that all Windows pirates are Chinese. Logic does not work that way.

(* Of course, not all Windows in China is pirated, but it's close enough [zdnet.com] that the joke stands.)

Re:because nobody anywhere else pirates Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048045)

Dear Retard,

Logic is not your strong suit, is it? Nowhere in that joke is the statement or the implication that China is the ONLY country for which OS piracy is common.

HTH.

Re:because nobody anywhere else pirates Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048367)

I love how you pretend that China is the only place where Windows is pirated. I'm pretty sure piracy of Windows is widespread in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and all of Asia.

I love how you write like a retarded faggot. I'm pretty sure that using the way you write as an example, I'm getting the hang of it. Although this is not text and I cannot affect a lisp, or pubes in my teeth, or semen breath like you certainly have, but still, I think I've got it.

Re:Breaking: (1)

DigitalHammer (581235) | about 7 months ago | (#47048529)

Huh? You can pay for operating systems? :P

And what's better? (4, Informative)

kevmatic (1133523) | about 7 months ago | (#47047467)

If this is because they're upset at Microsoft for dropping XP support so quickly, then what are they going to? What OS has a longer support cycle than XP's 12.5 years?

Red Hat's is 10 years. AIX is 5-7. HP-UX is 8. Ubuntu LTS is 5 years. Mac OS is 4-ish. Solaris is likely the closest at 12 years... But its still less. Maybe they'll roll their own support?

Re:And what's better? (3, Informative)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 7 months ago | (#47047529)

Windows 2.0 was supported for 14 years

Re:And what's better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047541)

I bet this is a response to the US Government crying about some Chinese hackers bullying them the other day.

Re:And what's better? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#47047993)

That was a lame troll -- and wasn't worth the 50 cents you masters paid you for it.

Re:And what's better? (1)

TheGeneration (228855) | about 7 months ago | (#47047551)

In the case of all these other OS's though the cost of upgrading is trivial. Even Mac OSX only costs $20-40 vs. Microsott's $100+ pricetag

Re:And what's better? (2)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about 7 months ago | (#47047855)

Yeah, but remember that you've got to pony up just over a grand before you can even use Mac OS.

Re:And what's better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048019)

Not if you build a Hackintosh. I have a few of those myself and they didn't even cost close to a grand :D

Re:And what's better? (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#47047621)

Microsoft was still selling XP until October 2010 and ending support less than 4 years later so this is about par for an average OS.
However, XP is far from average and still runs on about half of the computers in China, most ATMs worldwide and, of course, most developing country computers, granny computers as well as on many corporate computers which are in the dinosaur category.
Everyone knows they need to get rid of XP but "change is hard".
China seems concerned about loss of support for XP (i.e. can't rely on Microsoft) and US spying in Win 8 (can't rely on Microsoft).
They would be better off going with their own home grown Linux distro but "change is hard" and they have an incredible installed base problem.

Re: And what's better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047623)

Anything that isn't U.S. It's compromised from a security viewpoint, therefore worthless.

Re:And what's better? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 7 months ago | (#47047641)

If this is because they're upset at Microsoft for dropping XP support so quickly, then what are they going to? What OS has a longer support cycle than XP's 12.5 years?

Red Hat's is 10 years. AIX is 5-7. HP-UX is 8. Ubuntu LTS is 5 years. Mac OS is 4-ish. Solaris is likely the closest at 12 years... But its still less. Maybe they'll roll their own support?

That have state-sponsored Linuc distributions, too, you know. I think one a long time ago was called Red Flag Linux.

Re:And what's better? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#47047979)

And everyone stopped using it, because it was shit and doesn't run all their (pirated) application software.

Re:And what's better? (5, Informative)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 7 months ago | (#47047765)

It is disingenuous to count XP's support period from its first release date, considering that each Service Pack represented as big a change to the OS as each Ubuntu release (for example).

Support for original XP (without a Service Pack) ended in 2005- only 4 years supported. The last Service Pack, SP3, was released in 2008- giving it a respectable 6 years supported. If XP had exited support when it was scheduled to (2012- it was only extended due to a Microsoft product-line-up cockup at the hight of the netbook craze), it would have had 4 years in support too- less than any of the others you named.

Even if you stubbornly disagree with what I'm saying about SPs and wish to count it all the way from SP0-SP3 end of support, might I also reiterate above that support was only extended at the last minute due to a Microsoft cockup- namely, that Vista was wildly unsuited to the then very popular netbooks. The standard offer from Microsoft is 10 years support (which is what you might reasonably expect to receive from Windows 8). This is the same as Red Hat, and comparable with other Enterprise-market OSs.

Re:And what's better? (1)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 7 months ago | (#47048435)

It is disingenuous to count XP's support period from its first release date...Support for original XP (without a Service Pack) ended in 2005- only 4 years supported. The last Service Pack, SP3, was released in 2008- giving it a respectable 6 years supported.

That sounds about right. I refused to upgrade from Windows 2000 until XP had made it past SP1, because XP had so many problems on release. These days, we think of patches to fix security issues. But with XP, most patches just fixed things that were plain broken. The years before SP2, and probably SP3, really shouldn't count in XP's lifespan.

Re:And what's better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047957)

Actually RHEL support is now set to 13 years, but this is only for the support provided by RH itself. Any local company can extend the support of past, present, and future versions of RH (through CentOS) for an arbitrary duration, while you won't get support anymore for XP from anyone, so definitely RH is a better choice.

Re:And what's better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048615)

I fail to see your point. The Chinese government is well within its rights to tell its employees what software it can and cannot use. And it would hardly be alone in banning a specific supplier. They are heavily dependent of Windows XP right now and MS has basically said 'you're on your own' to them.

I am aware of the piracy rates in China and how ridiculously old XP is, but the Chinese government is a huge player in the Chinese market. Its actual purchases are massive and likely to grow not shrink. It also has tremendous influence on how other players in the Chinese market behave. Furthermore, symbolic tit-for-tat retaliation is a common practice in Chinese business and government in exactly this kind of situation. All this does is wave a giant neon sign saying 'MS competitors welcome'.

The Microsoft China sales team should fired if they didn't see this one coming.

only forbids purchase, not use (4, Insightful)

z_gringo (452163) | about 7 months ago | (#47047501)

It doesn't sound like they are actually forbidding the use of Windows 8. They are just forbidding the purchase of windows 8. I guess as long as pirated copies are used, then everything is fine?

Re:only forbids purchase, not use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047635)

the difference is now when microsoft calls someone out, whichever department can point to the ban and either say 'not using it' or if really busted their boss can say 'we told them not to use it - see.'

no more anti-piracy money for microsoft. a lot of microsoft's money comes from china, not sure how much of that comes from government. But if this includes SOEs it will make a big big dent.

"Openly accuse us of cybercrimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047563)

....that'll learn ya.

Re:"Openly accuse us of cybercrimes... (2)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#47047955)

The butthurt is strong with these guys.

Even funnier is their behaviorr in the South China Sea. Totally unreasonable, bullying behaviour, but if you want to see somebody go off their brains, trying pointing out to China they're objectively behaving like bullies and that they have no right to seize territory that isn't theirs...

Everyone in their local neighbourhood thinks they're cunts, but in the eyes of the Chinese themselves, they can do no wrong, and it's everyone else's fault.

I guess we know why China and Russia are getting so lovey-dovey recently. They both have the disease of 19th-century nationalism, lunacy and paranoia -- and misery loves company.

I guess state-level paranoia and stupidity is the season's new look.

Re:"Openly accuse us of cybercrimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048159)

I guess state-level paranoia and stupidity is the season's new look.

Ask the NSA.

China's way of saying..... (0)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 7 months ago | (#47047581)

"Windows 8 is shit, and they dont want the population to have to use shit."

Go China, save your country from the worst OS ever created!
If only other counties had that much balls, the world would be a better place (OS wise anyway).

But have you tried using Windows 8? (2)

androidph (3631653) | about 7 months ago | (#47047585)

If I were procurement I would ban it too.

No trust in Windows 8 (1)

cpghost (719344) | about 7 months ago | (#47047615)

Maybe the Chinese government didn't get access to the W8 source code (unlike with XP), or maybe they got some access, but where unable to produce out of those sources a 1:1 identical binary to the released W8 version.

With all the NSA spying going on worldwide, it's prudent for the chinese administration to steer clear of Windows 8 at the moment.

Missing the point (5, Informative)

Rant-a-Holic (2700617) | about 7 months ago | (#47047619)

This is not about Windows 8. This is about the MS / NSA love affair. My company has done the exact same thing. No more windows after 7. Only approved Linux variants from here on....

Re:Missing the point (2, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 7 months ago | (#47047727)

I don't think Microsoft was ever interested in cooperating with the NSA, but eventually they were compelled to heel. It wasn't a love affair, it was a shotgun wedding.

Regardless of why they got married, they still had an ugly kid.

Re:Missing the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047925)

This is not about Windows 8. This is about the MS / NSA love affair. My company has done the exact same thing. No more windows after 7. Only approved Linux variants from here on....

haha I don't believe that for a second... love the pure fabricated posts of Slashdot. Either that or when you say "My Company" you mean yourself doing freelance work.

Yes and (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 7 months ago | (#47048037)

This is in response to the DOJ announcement of indictments against named Chinese military / governmental officials for IP theft and espionage. The Chinese temper-tantrum is just beginning.

Can you blame them? (2)

riis138 (3020505) | about 7 months ago | (#47047675)

Honestly, I feel that many of the news services that have reported this story got the motive all wrong. I think that the Chinese government not wanting to adopt Windows 8 has much more to do with a convoluted interface and inflated licensing fee than spite over the Windows XP support debacle. Of course this is just my opinion, but from what I hear in the workplace every day in regards to Windows 8, there is a very similar narrative going on here at home.

In Bejing they call the Windows update process (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047681)

a Microsoft fire drill....

Moral high ground? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 7 months ago | (#47047757)

Classic jumping on the NSA-hatewagon. Are the Chinese less despicable because they're obvious about it? Do they have some moral high ground because at least they're not hypocrites?

Not a bad idea! (1)

methano (519830) | about 7 months ago | (#47047769)

Maybe the US government should consider doing the same thing.

probably not a conspiracy. (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 7 months ago | (#47047819)

More likely it's just recognized that 8 is a shitty OS, that deviates too far from windows xp / windows 7, and that the next iteration of windows will wind up veering away from 8.

China likely has a huge number of government users and they don't want to pay for training them to use 8, then having to pay to retrain once 8 is dropped in favor of 9, or whatever alternative is chosen.

Wow (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#47047885)

So having millions of machines running unpatched XP, and then telling the Americans to go fuck themselves by banned a supported OS... isn't that a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face?

I'm sure the Fifty Cent Army will find a way to justify this stupidity though.

As hosed up as my machine was by the 8.1 upgrade (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 7 months ago | (#47047939)

I think they're making the right choice.

Migrating to Windows 7, Qilin and Debian (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47047953)

In our company all new office machines have to be Qilin (Ubuntu based Linux with some extensions), mid and top tear bosses are allowing themselves to use Windows 7, and the document handling has been switched to Debian Samba server.

If I were China (0)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 7 months ago | (#47047961)

I would basically say, unless there is absolutely no alternative then no non Open Source software at all. Welcome to the 21st century, Microsoft, where we have choices.

It would also appear to be "Welcome to the 21st Century, Intel, where we have choices."

I wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47048077)

I wish someone had banned me from buying Win 8.

"surprising" microsoft (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#47048425)

Yeah, SURPRISE! Nobody likes your crappy operating system. I certainly didn't find it surprising. How can they look at their sales numbers and find this surprising at this point?

This makes no sense (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 7 months ago | (#47048493)

Maybe something got lost in the translation. Something like, you know, reason.
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