Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Phasing Out Windows XP Creates Panic in China

It's been seven years since Microsoft replaced its sturdy Windows XP operating system  with Vista, Windows 7, and the current Windows 8.  So here in the US it doesn't seem THAT unreasonable that Microsoft has announced that they will no longer support the old OS with security updates and technical support. But in China, 49 percent of computers still use the twelve-year-old operating system, and the announcement is crating a panic atmosphere.  

The relatively high price of upgrading to a modern OS puts off many Chinese consumers and companies.  And the rampant software piracy market could kick back into high gear if millions need to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
The New York Times

Link to article:
China Warns of Risks in Plan to Retire Windows XP

Excerpt: "Microsoft says it will no longer be offering technical support or security patches for Windows XP after April 8, and it is encouraging users to upgrade to newer operating systems, such as Windows 8.

Although the percentage of computers running Windows XP in China is declining ahead of Microsoft’s deadline, it’s still quite high. As of January, 49 percent of Chinese computers were using the 12-year-old operating system, according to StatCounter, an analysis firm. That compares with less than 18 percent worldwide and less than 11 percent in the United States.

Experts say the pervasiveness of software piracy in China, though it has tapered off in recent years, means that computer users are unenthusiastic about shelling out for upgrades.

In China, the official retail price for Windows 8 is 988 renminbi, or about $160, for the basic version and 1,988 renminbi, or about $325, for the professional version, though discounted prices are widely available.

China’s efforts nearly a decade ago to promote the use of legitimate software were a boon to the fortunes of Microsoft, which had struggled with widespread copying of its products. The government took steps to ensure that its own computers were not using pirated software and introduced rules that new machines had to have pre-installed, licensed operating systems.

Beijing argues that Microsoft’s push to wean users off Windows XP and onto newer operating systems could harm its antipiracy efforts. In December, Yan Xiaohong, the deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, told a representative of BSA: The Software Alliance, an industry trade group, that Microsoft’s decision to end support for Windows XP meant that Chinese consumers were facing grave security risks and that efforts to reduce software piracy would be undermined, because users would balk at the cost of upgrading their operating systems, according to a report in Legal Daily, a newspaper run by the Chinese Ministry of Justice."

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