Feeds

back to article Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support

The Chinese government has urged Microsoft to extend support for Windows XP in order to boost Beijing’s anti-piracy efforts and head off a potentially huge security threat. Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of China’s National Copyright Administration, met Microsoft and other software companies in a bid to put some pressure on, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

Unusual Case.

"Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support"

Well now here's a case where I'm the side of the Chinese government!

19
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Unusual Case.

""Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support""

But extended Windows XP support is already available. You just have to pay lots for it, and the cost doubles each year...

7
1

Re: Unusual Case.

It's ironic that China originates a large portion of the security attacks onthe West, targetting XP vulnerabilities.

By extending XP support, they help keep the Western businesses and households running XP for longer too, maintaining their lucrative hack targets.

PE1: > no conspiracy mode <return>

3
6

Re: China originates a large portion of the security attacks onthe West

Really? Or is it the vast swathes of compromised machines in the PRC controlled by script kiddies over here in the West?

If they really still have that many machines on XP, there is a legitimate argument for asking MS to extend support. The more compromised machines over there, the bigger the DOSnets, the worse for the West.

5
1
Bronze badge

Re: Unusual Case.

>But extended Windows XP support is already available. You just have to pay lots for it, and the cost doubles each year...

Do not under estimate the Chinese in negotiations, expect them to cut a deal, which MS will be able to claim their expansion of MS China (to support XP) as an investment in the Chinese market, with very little real monies actually being transferred from Beijing to Seattle.

1
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Unusual Case.

Linux is older than XP and no one would call it prehistoric.

But Linux isn't a decrepit pile of code like XP.

4
5
Silver badge

Re: Unusual Case.

Linux is older than XP and no one would call it prehistoric.

That's because unless you're running Kernel v2.2 or something, it isn't.

2
1

Re: Unusual Case.

Given how many security vulnerabilities XP, 7 and 8 have had in common, calling XP a decrepit pile of old code is also a comment on 7 and 8.

6
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Unusual Case.

"Linux is older than XP and no one would call it prehistoric."

A monolithic kernel is pretty dated these days.....A poor security model.

1
4
Silver badge

Re: Unusual Case.

But remember this has been proven of Linux as well, with 10 year old plus bugs popping up....

1
0
Anonymous Coward

They only thing they haven't copied yet is YOU.

But that no doubt will come.

1
0
Pirate

Remember

You're one-in-a-million. Which means in China there are 1,351 people exactly like you...

0
0

This has been a long time coming so if they really did just recently spaff a load of money on XP licenses, then they have no one but themselves to blame.

Windows XP is 12 years old and, as much as I loved the old gal, all good things must come to an end and M$ capitulating to Beijing will only make the transition more painful in the long run as it will just make everyone complacent and then they'll leave switching until 5 minutes before whatever new expiry date they negotiated.

As a good will gesture, Microsoft could offer them a good deal on a load of Windows 7 licenses. Or alternatively, they've got a load of Surface RT's gathering dust in a warehouse, maybe the PRC are the only ones on the planet desperate enough to buy them!

7
8

all good things must come to an end

A saying that's often used and rarely justified. So tell me then, why must all good things come to an end? Or to make it simpler, why must this particular good thing come to an end?

31
1
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

If all good things come have to come to an end then you may have a case to get rid of one's doctor and dentist. After all, a happy and pain free existance is a Good Thing, right? Mind you, we may have stumbled on a central tenet of UK Gov's Natonal Health agenda here.

No, Good Things need not come to an end. On the contrary, Good Things need to comtnue and Bad Things need to come to an end.

This could be the Get Out that Miscrosoft are looking for. They can now argue that XP 'support' is going to continue because of the request of the Chinese Government and that they will, after all, offer a small subscription service.

They get to keep face, we get to keep a Good Thing and everyone is happy..

11
3
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Let's run with your rather dubious anthology. In that case, XP is like like a syphilitic cancer-ridden 90 year old drug addict who has been on life support for the last 15 years. Sometimes you just have to let go.

5
12

You forgot one thing...

all good things must come to an end

You forgot to justify XP as a "good thing". Familiar, yes. I'm not sure it is "good" any more.

Since it's EOL was announced support for new hardware isn't guaranteed (and I suspect a lot of new wifi dongles/cards don't support XP very well, if at all), and the less said about it's IPv6 support the better.

5
3
Bronze badge

quote: "A saying that's often used and rarely justified. So tell me then, why must all good things come to an end?"

Because current best guesses are that the universe (and by extension time itself) has only a finite lifespan? You can extend XP support until "the end of time", however when you reach that point it will still end.

Linguistic pedantry, I know, but then so was the original question ^^;

4
1

Re: You forgot one thing...

Since it's EOL was announced support for new hardware isn't guaranteed (and I suspect a lot of new wifi dongles/cards don't support XP very well, if at all), and the less said about it's IPv6 support the better.

But had the EOL not been planned, these would be sorted out. And you also appear to be assuming the hardware is knackered too - and that's not necessarily the case either.

Its EOL is when it is mostly for commercial reasons. Because Microsoft wants it to, not because it must.

8
1
Anonymous Coward

>>all good things must come to an end

>A saying that's often used and rarely justified. So tell me then, why must all good things come to an end? >Or to make it simpler, why must this particular good thing come to an end?

Because:

1. it's propriety software and therefore belongs to someone

2. They have decided to stop supporting it. Simple as that.

If you don't like that business model there are plenty of Open Source alternatives available

1
2
Bronze badge

Re: You forgot one thing...

Since it's EOL was announced support for new hardware isn't guaranteed

No, but as long as there are XP computers out there, HW manufacturers will still offer drivers or risk losing a sale.

3
1
Bronze badge
Megaphone

all good things must come to an end

Actually, this EOL reminds me of an old Italian saying,

"Tutto termina in giudizio"

which means

"All things end in judgement"

2
0
Bronze badge
Windows

Re: You forgot one thing...

You forgot to justify XP as a "good thing". Familiar, yes. I'm not sure it is "good" any more.

Since it's EOL was announced support for new hardware isn't guaranteed ...

When people talk about XP as "good" they mean one of two things.

a) I want my Windows to look and work like XP, regardless of what's under the covers.

b) XP works for me, and I don't want to have to pay for an upgrade.

If Microsoft were smart, their answer to (a) would simply be to repackage Windows 8 so that it looked and worked exactly like XP, while having all the new goodness (and the nasty DRM) of the new system, without any change in appearance or requirement for the user to learn anything new.

The answer to (b) is probably Linux ... Microsoft's problem is that the answer to (a) will look like Linux as well, if they don't learn that in order to succeed they have to provide what users actually want.

2
2
Anonymous Coward

"Sometimes you just have to let go."

...and then embrace -- what??

1
0

Re: You forgot one thing...

It was good in it's time, but as stated by yourself others, it's had it's day and doesn't support things it really needs to in the modern world.

0
0
Silver badge

@ BillG

'Actually, this EOL reminds me of an old Italian saying, 'Tutto termina in giudizio' which means 'All things end in judgement'"

"All things end in judgement" - an Italian saying? It's good enough to originally be a Latin proverb!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@I like noodles

I believe the proper saying is 'all good things come to an end', as in "Things are good now, but don't plan on it lasting forever- use it now to prepare for when it's gone".

But in any case, all good things SHOULD come to an end. And this should be because they get better. Health Care? I'd imagine the modern NHS bears surprisingly little resemblance to the NHS as originally conceived. And it covers more people, diagnoses more illnesses more correctly and allows us to cure more of them.

Just because a thing is good doesn't mean it shouldn't end, forever enshrined as 'well, that's good enough guys'.

Take radio- AM/FM radio do a great job, so DAB isn't going to take off properly for a long time yet. It's not time for AM/FM to come to an end. But AM/FM will come to an end one day when they're replaced with, say, HyperDAB+++V2.0 that can give you an octophonic sound signal in the middle of an underwater mountain range while using no power- use of AM/FM (still a good thing) will come to an end because something better has replaced it.

0
0

Re: You forgot one thing...

@An0n C0w4rd: IPv6 or modern wifi architecture in XP? you make me laugh

Microsoft didn't add support for AES or TLS1.0 to XP, ever. Both of which predate RTM version of it by years! Yet alone the SP1, SP2 or SP3... And don't make me remember IE6. Browser so bad, even its maker advertised against it!

It's a good end to bad riddance.

2
0

Re: You forgot one thing...

what color/colour is the sky in your world?

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: You forgot one thing...

>Microsoft didn't add support for AES or TLS1.0 to XP, ever.

Did you miss KB893357 ? Obviously your WiFi adaptor and its drivers also needed to support WPA2, AES etc.

0
0
Bronze badge

They can pay like anyone else

Microsoft offer continued XP support - to those organisations willing to pay. So, if China wants extended support they can get their wallet out.

If they think it'll increase piracy by not extending it, then they should get their house in order and prosecute the pirates!

9
1
Silver badge

Re: They can pay like anyone else

Huge customers are always a double edged sword, no matter the industry you're in. It's great when they're buying stuff, but when they start making demands you've got a real problem. If you don't acquiesce to their demands there's a very real risk that they won't buy from you in the future.

Once a giant customer leaves, there's also the very real possibility that smaller customers will feel encouraged to move away as well. If (x) can do this, we can as well.

Not that I have a lot of sympathy for MS, I was just pointing out that having huge customers is a pain in the ass.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: They can pay like anyone else

" If you don't acquiesce to their demands there's a very real risk that they won't buy from you in the future"

So they leave and go where? Red Flag Linux clearly has been less popular than XP. Can't see Apple cutting them a cheap deal. Android isn't a proper productivity desktop. If they choose to pirate W7 then they'll be excluded from security updates, leaving them in the same position as they will be with XP.

Unless IBM are still selling OS/2, then thereis only one option for both parties: we can expect some face saving compromise about limited duration of critical vulnerabilities fixed for Chinese language pack installations (ie they get extended support but don't pay for it), accompanied by a commitment by the Chinese government to move all official machines to licenced W7 by date X.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: They can pay like anyone else

I realize there aren't really other options, but it's pretty risky to lose a customer with the resources to create their own option.

In this case China could actually provide the impetus for desktop Linux to actually be a thing instead of a sideshow. I can't see them wanting to do that, it's a lot cheaper to pay MS, but I could see them going that route if MS didn't want to play ball.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

serious security risks for many machines in the PRC, with opportunistic cyber criminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities

The phrase "hoist by their own petard" comes to mind...

9
0

Life is easier with XP

The last thing certain government want is the mass movement away from an insecure operating system for which they have many zero day exploits.

"Please keep supporting it, some of our favourite espionage and control targets still depend upon Windows XP."

10
5

I can't imagine MS is going to want to extend the date further. At the end of the day XP was the last desktop OS that with a Volume License key you didn't need to activate the product (so no potential nasties lurking in your dodgy copy because you could use a proper clean one). However, I would support a move by MS to release an XP service pack 4 which added some of these 'features' in along with some beefed up security even for a fee as it would make life easier for a lot of people!

4
1
Silver badge

Two problems with your post

One, you can install bog standard Windows 7, then install the widely available 'Windows Loader' freeware. Granted, that's closed source, but considering how many people use the most popular one, the author is playing the long game if he has evil intent, not to mention that Microsoft adding a NSA backdoor is a likely source of attack than the Loader.

Two, Microsoft bases their support based on the date of the last service pack. Releasing another XP service pack would reset the timer. Why do you think they decided against releasing SP2 for Windows 7? They're looking forward to the scheduled end date in January 2015 (yes, barely a year from now!) though I'm sure there will be huge pressure applied against them to extend that date given the dislike of Windows 8.

1
0
Silver badge

News just in -- China goes dark as XP upgrade fails to find a single authenticated copy.

3
0

How the world has changed!

10 years ago, Microsoft might, repeat, might have just listened, and only listened, to the White House if a similiar request had been made.

10 years on, with US power and influence waning on many fronts, Beijing feels it is now a "major world" equal to the US and can "front-down" Microsoft and make demands like these!

I love it!!!

(gave up XP in 2004 after a little trojan incident involving a download from a (had to be!) Chinese server and living happily ever since on Debian!!!!)

7
6
Silver badge

Re: How the world has changed!

This has nothing to do with political leverage. If this was a political thing there are better ways of dealing with it.

This is the same problem every business faces sooner or later. No matter how large or small your business is, a major customer will eventually demand preferential treatment. Generally you accommodate them but not before a deal has been negotiated. In this example MS may continue support for XP in China but China will go ahead and commit to (x) copies of Windows 8 in the future.

Preferential treatment does not mean free. It means you are willing to work to keep a customer but nobody is expecting it to be done for free. China knows this, now it's just down to deciding how much to pay for the special treatment.

2
0
Silver badge

Take it out and shoot it

Extending support for XP would be terrible - the operating system is ancient and needs patching every month just to attempt to fix this months exploits. It's time to die and the fact that people like it is not an excuse for keeping it alive. If it was then I'd be typing this this comment in with a line editor (ED) on a terminal connected to my CP/M 2.2 machine at 4800 baud.

5
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: Take it out and shoot it

"Extending support for XP would be terrible - the operating system is ancient and needs patching every month just to attempt to fix this months exploits." You mean ANY version of windows needs patching every month.

BTW I have an XP workstation installed 2005, running on KVM, it's connected to the Internet (not directly), doesn't have any AV, doesn't have any virii or malware either. It's users that make PCs insecure.

6
2

Re: Take it out and shoot it

Windows 7 and 8 also need patching every month...

9
0
Silver badge

Re: Take it out and shoot it

"doesn't have any AV, doesn't have any virii or malware either"

How do you know it doesn't have malware if you have no A/V?

8
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Take it out and shoot it

"How do you know it doesn't have malware if you have no A/V?"

Off line scans when I can be bothered, but none have been detected. One can also run scans using Malwarebytes, pc housecall and similar services without running AV and test files before downloading using on-line file checkers.

AV is a type of virus: it uses cpu cycles, memory and disk time, it installs a load of carp you don't want or need, it sends confidential info to third parties.

5
2
Silver badge

Re: the fact that people like it is not an excuse for keeping it alive

You're new to this whole "market" thing, aren't you ?

We're talking about software. Software does not rot, it does not go stale, it has no "sell by" date.

The only thing that makes XP unsuitable for today's hardware is the fact that hardware has progressed by leaps and bounds since XP first hit the market. My original XP disk - Service Pack 0 if you wish - cannot install on any PC that is less than five years old. But an XP SP3 disk can - because it was updated to "understand" the new hardware world it can live in. It is still XP, however.

This demonstrates that XP need not be retired for reasons of age, that is not a proper argument. And, on any market, people liking a product is very much the perfect excuse for keeping said product "alive". It's called maintaining revenue. Only in the software market do we have notions of "old" software that is no longer suitable. XP can be upgraded.

That said, I do not think that XP should be upgraded. It was a messy, bloated piece of kit with one saving grace : it was better than Windows 98.

So yes, let it die. Replace it with Windows 7 which is a messy, bloated piece of kit that has one saving grace : it is better than XP.

And, while you have Windows 7 running, wait for Windows 8 to die because it is a messy, bloated piece of kit with no saving grace whatsoever.

5
1
Silver badge

Re: AC "I have an XP workstation installed 2005"

I'm guessing you probably work for a power company, probably supervising switching stations then - or maybe you work for RBS?

Look - I have nothing against XP as an operating system, it's good but it's old and out of date. It's time to move on - I have several old computers running old operating systems (RSX11M, VMS, ZCPR etc) for media conversions but there's no way I'd try to do modern work on them or $DEITY$ forbid, connect them to the Internet.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: AC "none have been detected"

The NSA loves you.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.