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China Government Operating Systems Security Windows

China Bans Government Purchases of Windows 8 200

Posted by timothy
from the everybody's-got-priorities dept.
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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China Bans Government Purchases of Windows 8

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

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:27PM (#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
    • by wiggles (30088)

      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.

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:29PM (#47047363)
    Might as well use some other unsupported OS
    • by iggymanz (596061)

      you are silly, windows 7 supported until 2020 at least

    • by FudRucker (866063)
      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
      • by unixisc (2429386)

        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

        If you're referring to Red Flag Linux, it's dead - just search 'Red Flag Linux' on /. and you'll find the story in February that describes the company being shut down

  • ...and then do absolutely nothing to stop the rampant pirating of that copy...
    • ...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: (Score:5, Funny)

    by mujadaddy (1238164) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:35PM (#47047439)
    This just in: China was considering paying for an operating system!
    • 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:Breaking: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @02:38PM (#47048867) Journal

      I think it's not funny any more. Windows 8 and later do not seem to be operating systems at all, that description seems to have stopped with XP. An OS manages the hardware resources and provides an operating environment for application software to run.

      Windows 8 has made it very cumbersome to use the hardware, focusing largely on touch, which is wasted on a desktop. And many legacy application software simply refuse to run on Windows 8 or later. Even simple web based applications are a pain to navigate and use in Windows 8.

      So China or elsewhere, people need a decent desktop operating system, and Microsoft seems to have exited that business.

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

    by kevmatic (1133523) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:37PM (#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?

    • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:43PM (#47047529)
      Windows 2.0 was supported for 14 years
    • 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

      • Yeah, but remember that you've got to pony up just over a grand before you can even use Mac OS.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        The cost of upgrading also includes the cost of upgrading the hardware as well. Even a free upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8 will be expensive to the typical XP user.

    • by mspohr (589790) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:50PM (#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.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Since Microsoft has essentially a monopoly in the OS market, anything Microsoft does is automatically close to the average.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      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.

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

    • by Patch86 (1465427) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:01PM (#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.

      • 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.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Remember also that five years ago you could buy a brand new computer running XP. So 5 years support only (and substandard support too, as soon as they had a new version they treated the old one like a pariah almost instantly).

        • SP2 was the last fundamental change to XP's architecture (to the point that some programs that ran on SP1 *stopped working* with SP2). It added Data Execution Prevention and some other under the hood goodies. SP3 was basically a security update rollup with some essential hotfixes thrown in for good measure. Nothing major changed architecturally.

          I just wish they would have released one final update rollup with all supported public updates to make it easier to get people up to a final patch level. Having

    • There have been articles talking about China creating their own Linux distribution so that's probably where they are headed. A distribution they can support themselves, indefinitely.
      • by Mojo66 (1131579)

        I've submitted this story as well [slashdot.org], even before the OP (not that I'm bitter....), and with additional information regarding China's plans:

        Apart from purchase restrictions for central government offices, China will focus on the development of its own OS based on Linux, a move which An Yang, a security expert with Qihoo 360 Technology, said was a necessity although progress has been disappointing. There are several Linux-based OS developed by Chinese companies, such as KylinOS and StartOS, but they have not pr

  • by z_gringo (452163) <z_gringo@h o t m a il.com> on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:40PM (#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?
  • If I were procurement I would ban it too.
  • 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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rant-a-Holic (2700617) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:50PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plover (150551)

      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.

    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?

  • Maybe the US government should consider doing the same thing.
  • 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.

  • 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.

    • by Teresita (982888)
      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?

      It's a communist plot. China asked Mr. Softie to please support WinXP past April 8 because it runs on 70% of the PCs over there, and Mr. Softie said no, so this just retaliation, like when China cut off oil to the Norks for a few months for lighting off a nuke. But it's not really going to hurt Mr, Softie ver
  • I think they're making the right choice.
  • Maybe something got lost in the translation. Something like, you know, reason.
  • Said no organization ever.
  • It is stupid to use software developed by the enemy. Very unwise.
  • Seriously, we should be pushing for buying western, if not American, made networking, computing, etc. devices. And for the same reason that I think that China is doing the RIGHT thing.
    • by cpghost (719344)
      Right! Cisco's gear likely has value-added NSA backdoors inside. That makes it a lot more desirable to buy than Huawei's likely built-in chinese backdoors. We should definitely buy more of our surveillance gear than their's.
    • Seriously, we should be pushing for buying western, if not American, made networking, computing, etc. devices. And for the same reason that I think that China is doing the RIGHT thing.

      And what brand is that then?

      What hardware is NOT made in China? And what hardware do you know for sure is not backdoored at the hardware level OR firmware running on the hardware?

  • Pretty sure most governments already decided on Windows 7 anyway when XP starting coming to a close. This seems less a reaction than just a prudent large IT procurement decision. Pretty sure if I was in charge of the decision and someone thought that adding Windows 8 into the mix was a good idea, i'd tell them to go to hell also.

  • China began their impressive hosting of the Olympic games on 08-08-08 just to illustrate how strong the sentiment.

    Perhaps its just a little nauseating to the Chinese culture that they "Kentucky Fry" their national good fortune with yet another mediocre iteration of oppressive corporate software that aims to dominate the market, serve self interest at the expense of the customer, to be the remaining choice available.

    Furthermore, the Chinese are pragmatic, and in light of the fact that Microsoft, quite

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