Over the last few weeks, we’ve heard about how the British government had to sign a deal with Microsoft to extend support for Windows XP for another year while organizations throughout the UK switched to newer operating systems. The US Government made arrangements with Microsoft after it dropped the ball too—specifically the IRS, an agency that’s typically kind of strict about getting things done by a certain deadline.
But it seems that the Chinese Government isn’t even going to bother working out an agreement with Microsoft—they’re just going to stick with Windows XP forever, I guess. A post from Sky News reports that senior official Yan Xiaohong explained that making the switch from Windows XP to Windows 8 would be “fairly expensive.” That, of course, presents a problem. He explained:
“Security problems could arise because of a lack of technical support after Microsoft stopped providing services, making computers with XP vulnerable to hackers.”
So, if Microsoft isn’t going to provide support, and China isn’t going to pay Microsoft any money for that support while 70 percent of the nation’s computer users make the switch, what are they going to do to protect their systems? Apparently the government is appraising “special protection products” made by Chinese tech security companies to extend Windows XP security.
Overall, this is not super good news for any computer users in China who are still running XP. It’s not as though any operating system is totally secure in the best of conditions. Relying on third-party security software is just asking for trouble. This is one of those “penny-wise, pound-foolish” decisions that will likely end up hurting the nation’s users in the long run.
Hopefully the government will see the error of its ways before the millions of XP users in China have to suffer the consequences.