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Print 39 comment(s) - last by wallijonn.. on May 22 at 1:18 PM

Government is one of Microsoft's few paying customers in China, where piracy runs rampant

The Chinese government is in a bit of a spat with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) over Windows support.  Relations between the pair have long been strained over accusations of rampant piracy in the fast-growing Asian nation.
 
But with the end of support for most SKUs of the 13-year-old Windows XP things have reached the boiling point.  China has said that it plans to continue to use Windows XP on most government computers.  The government says it will patch the aging operating system itself, rather than pay Microsoft large fees as the UK government has agreed to.
 
Now it's lashed out at Microsoft with a punitive gesture.
 
In a Chinese language notice posted on the website of the China's Central Government Procurement Center the government official banned Windows 8 from its computers.  Reuters reports:

The official Xinhua news agency said the ban was to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system, which was widely used in China.

It's not immediately clear how sticking with the unsupported Windows XP rather than the regularly updated Windows 8 will improve security.  The comment may also related to the growing rift between China and the U.S. over spying by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).  Amid accusations that the NSA is intercepting shipments of hardware and software from American companies and modifying them with spying features, China is looking to avoid government use of hardware made in America.

Windows 8 in China
Former Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky announces Windows 8 at an Oct. 2012 launch event in China. [Image Source: EPA]

Even if that was what China was hinting at, the prohibition notice was aired in an odd spot as it was put in an energy efficiency notice.
 
Windows 8 is still available for sale in the Chinese consumer market, retailing for 888 yuan, or roughly $142 USD.  Currently, roughly 50 percent of Chinese computers run Windows XP, well above the global consumer average of about 25 percent.  In 2011 then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told employees that due to China's rampant piracy Microsoft makes less in revenue from the Asian nation than the tiny European country of the Netherlands, whose population is about 1/80th the size of China's.
 
Still the decision of the Chinese government -- typically one of the few parties in China not to pirate Microsoft's products -- to snub Windows 8 is a blow to Microsoft's campaign to reinvigorate sales of the 2-year-old operating system.

Source: Reuters



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RE: Linux
By Murloc on 5/20/2014 1:19:13 PM , Rating: 3
incompetence and disorganization probably runs deep in the state.

Also most of the users of winXP in the government are not their military hacking team but helpless office workers. Go train them. It would require a massive concerted effort, the money would get lost to corrupt officials before the training is organized.
So they just keep going on with whatever works, this is my guess.


RE: Linux
By Motoman on 5/20/2014 1:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
Realistically speaking, using Linux isn't any different than using Windows. It looks and works pretty much the same exact way. Just in the same mannger that LibreOffice pretty much looks and works the same was as Microsoft Office.

The reason that Linux hasn't caught on is that it firstly has no support from the major software vendors, like Microsoft, to port their mainstream products to it. If MS Office was available for Linux, it would be a serious alternative for the business world. But it isn't, and likely never will be, so it isn't.

The other problem is poor hardware support - which admittedly has gotten better, but is still really spotty. And that means that you kind of have to be a computer expert to get Linux to work on a given machine...unless you're lucky enough to have one that "just works."

Both of those things conspire to keep Linux on the fringe - probably permanently. But ease-of-use for the basic computer user, once Linux is properly installed, isn't an issue.


RE: Linux
By Ammohunt on 5/20/2014 2:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The other problem is poor hardware support - which admittedly has gotten better, but is still really spotty.


When did you last install Linux? Redhat 5? Not to sound rude but you don't know what you are talking about.

I use Windows at home for gaming only and have been running Linux almost exclusively at work (Senior Systems Administrator) for almost 5 years now except I run a Windows VM for Outlook since mail clients that connect to Exchange for Linux aren't quite there yet; but they are still damn good!

The largest problem with Linux is Distribution Confusion with Users; too many choices confuses the sheeple! couple that with the frothing at the mouth Linux Zealots and linux can be a turn off.

You can't escape the fact that distributions like Ubuntu,Fedora and Mint a child could install and use immediately.

No sir, Linux hasn't been fringe for years. I suggest you take the time to enlighten yourself and get up to date with your Linux knowledge and install Mint 16 Cinnamon or the latest Ubuntu in an Oracle Virtual Box container and see what you are missing.


RE: Linux
By Motoman on 5/20/2014 2:23:47 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
When did you last install Linux? Redhat 5? Not to sound rude but you don't know what you are talking about.


About a month ago, with fresh downloads of Mint. It worked a lot better than it used to, but it wasn't perfect. Not to sound rude, but I know *exactly* what I'm talking about.

Unlike you:

quote:
No sir, Linux hasn't been fringe for years


Umm...Linux is like 1.5% of all PCs worldwide. What the eff do you think constitutes "fringe" anyway?


RE: Linux
By Ammohunt on 5/20/2014 5:05:07 PM , Rating: 2
Fringe on the desktop I will give you but pretty much everywhere its important its pretty pervasive like in the Data Center and on Mobile Devices.

You comment of hardware support is kind of out there as well 99% percent of the time with a binary distro all my devices are recognized and configured that never happens with Windows.

There was a time when I would never consider running Linux in a production environment that expired 5-6 years ago.


RE: Linux
By Motoman on 5/20/2014 5:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
Usage in the data center is irrelevant to the discussion at hand because those systems' consoles are never seen by anyone other than IT staff.

Usage on "mobile devices" like Android phones is also irrelevant because firstly that has nothing to do with PCs, which was the topic at hand, and secondly because it's the OEM OS on those devices, and is unrecognizable to anyone who doesn't already know as a derivative of Linux.

It is an irrefutable fact that essentially all Linux desktop users are IT experts, and a tiny minority of them at that. And unless you can wave a magic wand and change the 2 issues I noted above, it's always going to be that way.

For my own part, after installing the latest Mint distro on a couple machines, and noting how much easier it was to install than in the past, and seeing the automatic updates happen and the "app store" kind of functionality, I thought "well that's nice." And after playing with them for a bit, I set them aside and went back to my regular Windows machine...because there's not any benefit to me, as an IT expert or as a regular user, to abandon Windows and switch to Linux. Or even keep one of those machines here on my KVM switch and flip back and forth...there's just no point.


RE: Linux
By ven1ger on 5/20/2014 5:56:33 PM , Rating: 2
It all boils down to marketing, Linux isn't marketed to the general public like MS does.

Generally speaking whether you're a PC user using Linux, or Windows, the only one that really looks at either systems are the tech geeks, IT people. The typical PC user won't even try to replace their hard drive and OS if the hd crashes. If a computer running Windows breaks down it's usually taken in to a computer repair person or you have a friend/relative who works with computer to look at it.

To install a Linux distro is definitely a whole lot easier than installing Windows for a lay person. But Linux, one has to seek it, while Windows is pushed on to you from a consumer point of view.


RE: Linux
By Ammohunt on 5/20/14, Rating: 0
RE: Linux
By Motoman on 5/20/2014 10:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyway I respect your opinion even if it is mostly anecdotal and dated.


lol.

Translation: I hate you for living in the real world instead of capitulating to my dream of Linux being relevant.

Love the way you dismissed the irrefutably pertinent and relevant points I made simply because you refuse to acknowledge reality.

Keep your condescension to yourself.


RE: Linux
By wallijonn on 5/22/2014 1:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
there's not any benefit to me, as an IT expert or as a regular user, to abandon Windows and switch to Linux. Or even keep one of those machines here on my KVM switch and flip back and forth...there's just no point.


How about security?, as in doing on-line banking and on-line shopping?

I set up all my friends with Linux Live CDs and Live DVDs if they do on-line banking and on-line shopping.

There's probably less chance of installing key loggers, root kits, spyware, malware and viruses when one is running off a CD/DVD, no? Power down the PC and all the tracking cookies and data disappear into the ether.


RE: Linux
By mmarianbv on 5/21/2014 3:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
huge issues with network printers/scanners. misprints and slow speed scans (in the few cases when they work).
now i can print fine, 10 second later it will not print duplex. or at all.
from one computer i sent a 30kb document to print, other computer, same document, same program, same driver will sent 40 mb data to print locking the print for few minutes.
yeh cannon/hp/other could work to make their drivers better, but they pretty much ignore linux.


RE: Linux
By mjv.theory on 5/21/2014 4:47:17 AM , Rating: 2
Additionally, a Linux desktop distro could be fairly easily configured to look and work like XP, especially given the Chinese coding resources.

Also, Office365 is available on Android (which is basically a Linux distro) and iOS which is another unix derivative.

It likely won't be too long before Android is the most popular (as in most installed) OS in the world. I suspect that the Linux desktop revolution is still biding its time and that it will happen. Obviously, it China does go Linux, then that will accelerate a global acceptance.


RE: Linux
By mjv.theory on 5/21/2014 4:37:53 AM , Rating: 2
I have read elsewhere that such a plan may indeed be in hand.


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