China has banned the use of all versions of Windows 8 from use on government machines. The Central Government Procurement Center issued the new ban last week as part of their notice on the use of Energy-Saving Products. The official Xinhua news agency said the ban was meant as a security measure in lieu of Microsoft’s ending support for Windows XP which was widely used in China. At this point, however, no one can really explain how the ban on Windows 8 will support the use of energy-saving products – or how it will help security in the country. Microsoft has not commented yet.
China has been a long-time challenge for Microsoft whose sales in that region match those of the US, but because of piracy, earns less revenue than countries much, much smaller. With more than half of the computers in China currently running Windows XP, it is not apparent how China’s decision to ban Windows 8 will affect the overall reach and growth of Microsoft in the region.