China has banned the use of Windows 8 on new computers used by the government, citing security issues. The limited lifetime of support for Microsoft operating systems, as evidenced recently with Windows XP, is said to have forced the government to decree all desktops, notebooks, and tablet PCs to run any other operating system than Windows 8.
Xinhua reports the notice by the Central Government Procurement Center applies just to government offices, and not the domestic personal computer market. Windows XP is said to have a 70-percent market share in China, including the majority of government systems, with the ended support claimed to make the government wary of trusting another foreign-developed operating system again.
The government is also said to be focusing on developing its own operating system based on Linux. Initial efforts to do so, like StartOS and KylinOS, have yet to find a significant audience, though the government has attempted to accelerate efforts by approving the China Operating System (COS) for mobile devices.
China's issues with operating system security could be seen as mildly ironic. Yesterday, the US government formally charged five military officials in the Chinese Government's People's Army with cyber-spying and espionage, claiming US technology companies were hacked by the team for trade secrets and information about nuclear and solar technology.