China Drops Ban Hammer On Microsoft's Windows 8 For Government PCs

China's Central Government Procurement Center has reportedly issued a ban on installing Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system on government computers. The ban is supposedly in place to ensure computer security after Microsoft decided to end support for Windows XP last April, a legacy OS that was released to the public nearly 13 years ago.

Citing a report from the Xinhua news agency, Reuters says the ban was included on part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products posted to its website last week, but that the notice didn't say how the ban would have any positive effect on energy savings, or how it might improve security.

Windows 8 Chinese

This doesn't appear to be a move in retaliation to the U.S. Department of Justice bringing about criminal charges to five individuals of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) for hacking, as those charges were announced yesterday, whereas the ban notice was posted a week ago.

Nevertheless, the move doesn't do Microsoft any favors in trying to push Windows 8 to a broader audience, especially those running Windows XP. As data firm Canalys notes, XP accounts for half of China's desktop market. By refusing to upgrade from XP, users sticking it out with the legacy OS will be susceptible to unpatched security holes.