China doesn't wanna let Win XP go, seeks security addons

China doesn't wanna let Win XP go, seeks security addons

Summary: Having invested hundreds of million acquiring the Microsoft OS since 2010, the Chinese government is choosing to hang on and looking for Win XP-specific security products to protect user data.


The Chinese government is hanging on to Windows XP and choosing instead to deploy security products built specifically to protect the Microsoft OS.

Support for Win XP ended on April 8with Microsoft no longer providing security updates for the 12-year-old platform, leaving government agencies in China on their own to resolve any potential issues. The OS remains a widely used one in the country, where an estimated 70 percent of personal computers, or some 200 million systems, are still running Win XP.  

"Security problems could arise because of a lack of technical support after Microsoft stopped providing services, making computers with XP vulnerable to hackers," Yan Xiaohong, deputy director at National Copyright Administration, said in a report by Xinhua News Agency. Speaking to local reporters, he noted that upgrading to Windows 8.1 was not a viable option. 

"Windows 8 is fairly expensive and will increase government procurement costs," Yan said. The official revealed that relevant agencies were discussing with Microsoft about the issue. 

According to the report, Windows 8 is priced at 888 yuan (US$143.75) in China. It added that since launching the country's anti-piracy campaign in 2010, the Chinese government had spent hundreds of millions of dollars acquiring legitimate software.  

By end-2013, all government agencies had been audited and were no longer using pirated software, Yan said, adding that anti-piracy efforts were further extended to large state-owned organizations. 

The government is currently assessing security products designed specifically to support Win XP and planned to promote the use of these offerings to ensure user data remained protected, Yan said. 

Several Chinese tech giants including Tencent, Kingsoft, and Sogou, in February said they would offer technical aid related to Win XP system upgrades and security features, following the end of Microsoft's support.

Topics: Software, Enterprise Software, Security, China, Windows


Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

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  • Re: China doesn't wanna let Win XP go....

    The ironic thing is it is well known that the majority of XP installations in that part of the world are not genuine and have in fact been sourced from torrents and the like.
    • Yes

      "It added that since launching the country's anti-piracy campaign in 2010, the Chinese government had spent hundreds of millions of dollars acquiring legitimate software"

      This really means they paid for software they've been using for up to 10 years before that. Of course the bill will look big if it adds costs of past and present instead of just showing present costs.

      But of course asking 150$ for a Windows license without PC and 50$ for a Windows license with PC is not helping Microsoft's case.
  • Why on earth were they still buying XP as late as 2010?

    I expect Microsoft would offer a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 discount for the thousands of computers I imagine need a licence.
    • I expect

      because they were buying computers that could only run XP. China may be wealthy by virtue of its great size, but on a per capita basis, it isn't.
    • It's actually still possible to buy new XP computers in the U.S. right now

      At least it was, when I checked a few days ago. They are very specialized, high-end computers that cost several thousand dollars each, but it is still possible to buy new XP computers in the U.S. in 2014.

      As for why you would want to do that, the main reasons would be compatibility with older software and reliability. I personally used newer operating systems (Vista and Windows 7) for six years, but they just didn't run very well for the specialty (in my case genealogy) software that I wanted to use. They also all crashed after only about a year. I couldn't really afford to keep buying a new computer every year and it was really annoying to have to re-load my data and re-install all my programs all the time and have a very poor performance on a day-to-day basis, so in 2013 I actually switched back to XP. I didn't buy a new computer because the new XP computers in 2013 were far more expensive than the new Windows 7 computers (I guess you get what you pay for), so I bought a refurbished one instead. It ostensibly has similar specs to the Windows 7 computer it replaced, but for the programs that I use it for it has actually run much faster. I have now had it longer than most of the Vista/7 computers that I have had and I have yet to experience any problems with it. If my current computer ever does fail, I hope to buy one of the new XP computers which currently cost about $6,000. I hope to get a better job by then so that I can afford that.

      I understand that XP isn't for everyone and that if you want to run the newest high-end games then you will run into trouble, but if the programs you are using were specifically designed for XP than it makes sense to stick with it.
  • Microsoft messed up big time

    We all know Microsoft has messed up for a long time on its extended OS support. It simply allowed XP to live way to long and not until Microsoft began to see the light only after a dismal Windows 8 launch. Did Microsoft finally begin to see the problem that they created. So many on a legacy OS and so many not interested in spending money on Windows 8. I do not like the way Apple sometimes just drops hardware support or releases OS versions to OSX that I think end support too quickly. But at least they realized that you cannot advance your OS progression without leaving behind some legacy users with older hardware. The question for Microsoft becomes. Did they alienate XP users so much by this end of support, that it will cause at least some of those users to look elsewhere for future operating systems other then Windows? Its like a car making who stops making parts for your favorite old car. Will that make you buy a new car? I am not sure that's the way it works for many.
    • ?Microsoft's fault.

      Supporting an OS for over 10 years is a good thing.

      Why would you twist it as a problem[;.
      • ZD|Net broke my comment.

        Oh boy...
    • Extended Support

      The problem is the lack of clean upgrade path from XP to 7/8 and the hardware requirements for 7/8. It is not very easy to upgrade from XP so many will avoid doing it as long as possible. Also, many XP computers are not capable of handling 7/8 which means either one stays with XP, migrates to Linux, or spend serious money for new hardware. Many will opt to stay with XP. Both of these issues are caused by decisions made by MS about 2006/7.

      The fact XP is no longer support is not the problem or the fault of MS who did announce their product life cycle in 2001, extended later.
  • Well it looks like Microsoft have lost...

    ...China too...not surprising China is looking at alternatives to the Windows desktop

    Only a matter of time really
  • Why can't they create their own OS?

    With such wealth and scientific resources, why can't the Chinese create their own OS? They are making most of the hardware and drivers anyway!