back to article Microsoft walks into a bar. China screams: 'Eww is that Windows 8? GET OUT OF HERE'

The Chinese government has banned Windows 8 from a sizeable chunk of public-sector PCs – capping off a long-running dispute with Microsoft over the company's decision to cut support for XP. The ban was announced by the government's IT procurement agency in a notice posted online on Friday. It was addressed to vendors bidding …

COMMENTS

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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    We banned Windows 8 from the premises long before XP support ended.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "halting the sale of Windows 7 and switching over to the higher-priced Windows 8 would lead to software piracy."

      Until they realised that it's much harder to pirate Windows 8....

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        I think that it means that XP and 7 will become even more pirated not W8.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: @AC

        "Until they realised that no one wants to pirate Windows 8...."

        Fixed it for you.

      3. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
        Happy

        Until they realised that it's much harder to pirate Windows 8....

        Why pirate W8, M$ can't even give it away at gun point, Why would anyone want to steal a copy?

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Until they realised that it's much harder to pirate Windows 8....

          If it is the only version you can buy, people will pirate an earlier version.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Until they realised that it's much harder to pirate Windows 8....

          I've been running disposable w8.1 system for months now - it complaints about activation but keeps working hard for all the "casual" Internet access (if you know what i mean;). The only downside (besides nags) is that it won't let me personalize the start screen - OMG MS.

          Really no reason to pirate.

          1. Mpeler
            Pirate

            Re: Until they realised that it's much harder to pirate Windows 8....

            Disposable - that just about hits the nail on the head....

            What was that song from Tony Orlando...something like

            Tie an awful ribbon 'round the interface

            We'll FAFF around and put another in its place...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When will MS get it?

    That Win 8 is a disaster, not just for them but for the whole PC industry...

    I reluctantly bought a Win 8 non touch laptop to replace the wifes aging XP thinkpad. The Win 8 UI is utter crap.

    The only positive outcome is that we have split up - so at least I won't be called on to do Win 8 support :| ( I migrated my stuff to Linux)

    1. Gordon 11

      Re: When will MS get it?

      That Win 8 is a disaster, not just for them but for the whole PC industry.

      If the whole PC industry has been relying only on Microsoft, then it deserves anything it gets for running a single-supplier "plan".

      My (limited) use of Win8.1 seems to show it's OK - just use the desktop part all of the time.

      As for Red Flag Linux's demise - HP have stepped in:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/22/china_makes_linux_os_with_canonical_help/

      http://www.zdnet.com/hp-targets-chinas-post-xp-crowd-with-ubuntu-kylin-7000029490/

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Herby

        Re: I installed Windows 8.1 on a Mac Mini under UEFI mode.

        And there you have it. The best machine for Windows ..is.....A Mac!

        Go figure. Of course, why would someone ruin an interior of a Mac Mini with the gaudy Windows-8 design is beyond me. Some people's tastes!

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: I installed Windows 8.1 on a Mac Mini under UEFI mode.

          "And there you have it. The best machine for Windows ..is.....A Mac!"

          <snip>

          Apart from NT4 running on a DEC Alpha, the best ever installations I have done of XP and Win 7 have been on Macs using Boot Camp etc.

          I had a big network of them in Abu Dhabi and life was sweet and crashes few.

        2. Oninoshiko

          Re: I installed Windows 8.1 on a Mac Mini under UEFI mode.

          I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would buy one of the overpriced, under-powered POSes to begin with.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The only positive outcome is that we have split up"

      So the moral of the story is....if you want to split up with your partner, just get them Windows 8!

      1. Rick Giles
        Linux

        Re: "The only positive outcome is that we have split up"

        "So the moral of the story is....if you want to split up with your partner, just get them Windows 8!"

        I wonder if that's why my wife has been eyeing that Windows 8 touch screen laptop at the store.

        I have alredy informed her that I will not support it.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: "The only positive outcome is that we have split up"

        if you want to split up with your partner, just get them Windows 8!

        So time to update "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", then?

        You just slip out the back, Jack

        Make a new plan, Stan

        Get Windows 8, mate

    4. Bloakey1
      Pint

      Re: When will MS get it?

      <snip>

      "I reluctantly bought a Win 8 non touch laptop to replace the wifes aging XP thinkpad. The Win 8 UI is utter crap.

      The only positive outcome is that we have split up - so at least I won't be called on to do Win 8 support :| ( I migrated my stuff to Linux)"

      Very sneaky move that one, I am glad your roll out strategy worked and that you had a positive result if not user experience.

      Buy that man a pint.

      1. Mpeler
        Pint

        Re: When will MS get it?

        Erm, was that "I reluctantly bought a Win 8 non touch laptop to replace the aging X(P) wife's thinkpad. The Win 8 UI is utter crap." :)

        Have another pint. Windows 8 IS expensive....

  3. Bucky 2
    Trollface

    "China was also reported to have told Microsoft that halting the sale of Windows 7 and switching over to the higher-priced Windows 8 would lead to software piracy."

    China's concerned about software piracy? CHINA?

    BWAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. If MS try to stop people buying legit copies of Win7, it will increase the numbers buying pirate copies of Win7.

    2. Cliff

      China, the champion of IP abuse, getting shitty that they no longer get support on freeloading copies of XP so refusing to pirate win 8.1 - yeah that'll teach those Microsoft imperialists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IP abuse champion?

        China, the champion of IP abuse

        You should really check your history. One of the most ironic feutures of the modern world is that the economy that attempts to claim the moral high ground on IP rights actually kicked off in the EXACT same fashion. The US berating China on its treatment of IP really is the pot calling the kettle black, despite what all their deceptive marketing tries to make you believe.

        Not that I'm OK with what China does, but one has to preserve a bit of perspective here. He who is without sin and so on.

        1. Cliff

          Re: IP abuse champion?

          A friend has a company that makes things to sell. He made them in the UK to sell for a long time, but needed a cheaper line to sell alongside the premium line and took the blueprints to China for production. On his second visit, he saw local shops already selling knock-off's of his product, from the very same blueprint.

          IP is heavily abused in all directions in the US for sure, no question, but it's slower and less balls-out.

          1. Mpeler

            Re: IP abuse champion?

            A company I knew of had a similar experience, but 30 years ago, with Japan. Had a cross-company management training program, blueprints missing for a day, back the next day. Six months later, VERY similar devices started rolling out from Japan....the more things change, the more they remain the same...

            What's that saying, "Better the enemy you know, than the friend you don't" ? (Not endorsing spying or the like....).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nothing to do with Windows Support

      I think China's motivation has a lot more to do with the NSA.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Nothing to do with Windows Support

        Mmm. Makes you wonder if there is a connection between this and the convenient list of alleged Chinese military "hackers" just Microsoft's guvmint has just released.. Just wondering...

      2. Peter Simpson 1
        Facepalm

        Re: Nothing to do with Windows Support

        Next headline:

        Peoples' Republic Software Factory Number 36 offers continuing support for WinXP...

      3. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: Nothing to do with Windows Support

        Right, because we know how secure XP is.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    breaking news!

    So we get this cack report plus the "witty" headline, but no reporting from the surface pro 3 launch?

    You guys are no longer good for up to the minute news.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: breaking news!

      But of course, the Surface Pro 3 would be banned too since they're only shipped with Windows 8.

    2. Cliff

      Re: breaking news!

      Reg never did up to the minute news, it does analysis. Think how much inane babble Fox and other rolling news stations bang out, jumping at every rumour and publishing every press release - when a bit of reflection could tell the whole story better. It's a different style of journalism.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: breaking news!

        Analysis? Lol, you need to expand your horizons and get a balanced opinion.

        Virtually every article is written by a fanboi or hater of each OS or technology.

        Analysis, that's funny..

        1. Steven Roper

          @ tombo Re: breaking news!

          "Virtually every article is written by a fanboi or hater of each OS or technology."

          So you are here reading El Reg and commenting on their articles because...?

        2. Bloakey1

          Re: breaking news!

          <snip>

          "Virtually every article is written by a fanboi or hater of each OS or technology."

          <snip>

          My dear sir, that is what puts the anal in analysis!

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: breaking news!

          Lol, you need to expand your horizons and get a balanced opinion.

          We'll miss you terribly,1 but leave if you feel you must.

          1Where else will we find some ninny who uses the interjection "lol"? We might have to recruit a YouTube commentator.

          1. Mpeler
            Alien

            Re: breaking news!

            Hope this isn't the return of

            E A D O N

            or he/she/its opposite....

            Rather have AManFromMars....

            1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

              Re: breaking news!

              Wonder whatever DID happen to AManFromMars

              1. Blitterbug
                Alien

                Re: Wonder whatever DID happen to AManFromMars

                Saw a comment from him today. He still pops up randomly (though sadly infrequently) to disgorge random pithy and incomprehensible (or just uber-encrypted?) observations for us lesser earthlings to make of what we will (or can).

      2. Rick Giles

        Re: breaking news!

        It's a different style of sensationalism.

        There, fixed it for you.

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: breaking news!

      Surface 3 launch.

      Not news... just another product launch burp.

    4. Rick Giles
      Trollface

      Re: breaking news!

      "You guys are no longer good for up to the minute news."

      I seriously thought that El Reg was just a step below The Onion any ways...

  5. Michael Hawkes
    Black Helicopters

    Payback

    I wonder if this is indirect payback against the US government for accusations against some Chinese officials.

    1. Fihart

      Re: Payback

      Payback ? Sounds like China's message to MS is doing the world a favour.

  6. Gray
    Facepalm

    For the Chinese, MS offers Win7?

    Phffffft!

  7. Ben Burch

    50% market penetration, but only 5% ever paid for.

    I can see no reason for Microsoft to give them a thing; Most of those machines are running pirated copies anyway! Remember those cheap, cheap copies of XP that you could get in Hong Kong? The ones that looked exactly like the Redmond product but were 100% phony?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: 50% market penetration, but only 5% ever paid for.

      No, just 0.1% phony...

      Which bits were different to the official version might worry you, of course...

  8. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Coming up next: Chinese XP.

    So several Chinese companies are lining up to provide "support" for XP (doubtless benefitting from the fact that the Chinese government can provide them with the source code)? No doubt they'll be keen to offer this service to overseas customers as well. I can see it now. Install this "Chinasoft Update" ActiveX control and use it like you used to use Microsoft Update. Your Chinese friends will then supply you with monthly updates to your trusted computing base.

    Sadly, I can imagine lots of people signing up to that.

    1. J 3
      Pirate

      Re: Coming up next: Chinese XP.

      Source code. That's the thing. Software companies should be forced to release to the public domain any code that they stop supporting, so others can do so if there is demand for such service.

      What do you say, the new OS is mostly old code? Well, if that's such a problem then why (rhetorical question) release a new version at all and kill the older one? If the new thing is so much more advanced and different, and not just some cosmetic crap sprinkled with a few worthy performance/security patches, why care about the old code, right?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Way to go

    Windows 8 blows for regular PC users, and Microsoft keeps on acting like that is not the case and stopped issuing windows 7. For example they made the mouse less responsive than the touch screen. Come on Microsoft, it is time to stop this charade.

  10. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    China may not have many alternatives to Microsoft, though, given that the country's homegrown OS "Red Flag Linux" apparently shut its doors and fired all staff in February.

    Probably not a problem as that leaves StartOS, Kylin and Deepin.

  11. John Tserkezis

    This is very telling.

    It also confirms that things in China (and other countries) are still working how they were (WRT piracy).

    Other operating systems like Linux (whichever flavour) haven't, are not and will not ever be popular - not because there's anything wrong with them, it's because they sit exactly alonside Windows when it comes to value and cost. With everything "free" (or pirated, whatever the case may be) Windows is going to win every time because it has a somewhat higher value (perceived or otherwise), that is, more worldwide popularity, as a development platform for a worldwide market, and it is better refined in some areas. Yes, yes, one could argue the point, but when push comes to shove, since the "cost" is the same (free), windows wins.

    Their ban of 8/8.1 is very telling. They must hate it. They must really, really hate it.

    Hey, I don't blame them, they get kudos for having the balls to tell it like it is.

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Re: This is very telling.

      Do they hate the UI or piracy prevention mechanisms?

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: This is very telling.

        "Do they hate the UI or piracy prevention mechanisms?"

        Same thing, aren't they?

  12. Herby

    Touchscreen on a Desktop?

    Sorry, it just doesn't make sense. The places that use "touch" are much different than those that might use other pointing methods (Mouse). Most of the "touch" interfaces are one handed (the other hand usually supports the device you are "touching"). The desktop model, is a two handed one with nice widely spaced keys (and lots of them) and enough real estate to allow a mouse to be active. These are two VERY DIFFERENT environments, and Microsoft doesn't understand this, forcing a common solution on all of us. It is like having a steering wheel on a motorcycle. Sure it might work, but it just doesn't work out too well.

    Microsoft needs to get a clue and understand the difference between one- and two- handed computing.

    1. Havin_it
      Trollface

      Re: Touchscreen on a Desktop?

      >Microsoft needs to get a clue and understand the difference between one- and two- handed computing.

      Well, there are those of us who believe them to be quite well versed in one-handed computing ...

      1. PeterM42
        FAIL

        Re: Touchscreen on a Desktop?

        ".........there are those of us who believe them to be quite well versed in one-handed computing"

        Actually, I think you meant CACK-HANDED computing.

        Today China - tomorrow the world??????

        How on earth did MS go from something as good as W7 to the CRAP of W8?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: How on earth did MS go from something as good as W7 to the CRAP of W8?

          it's easy. They changed the start menu. That's it. Every single moan on here boils down to "I didn't want them to change the start screen". And while a load of nerds bitch about how unusable it is and how it's TOTALLY CRAP those of us running it just click on the desktop tile and use it like 7.

          Seriously, it's not that big of a deal. Install a start button replacement if you must, but if you dislike change that much then you're probably in the wrong business....

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            Re: those of us running it

            Three people do not make a valid representative sample.

            Windows 8 has changed a lot more than just the Start menu. It has also attempted to lock users into a walled garden, among other issues.

            But I do not expect someone happy with a Playskool UI to be knowledgeable about issues. Go back to clicking your shiny tiles. I'm glad you're happy with it.

            1. sabroni Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: It has also attempted to lock users into a walled garden, among other issues.

              Well, with a comprehensive list of clear problems like that you've certainly shown me a thing or two. Well actually one thing, which doesn't really bear any examination once you realise the "walled garden" allows you to install all the apps you used to run on 7...

              But "playskool UI", now that hurts.

        2. hplasm Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Touchscreen on a Desktop?

          "How on earth did MS go from something as good as W7 to the CRAP of W8?"

          In terms of crapness, it's not so far.

        3. Rick Giles
          Linux

          Re: Touchscreen on a Desktop?

          "How on earth did MS go from something as good as W7 to the CRAP of W8"

          Two words for you: Steve Ballmer.

    2. Rick Giles
      Joke

      Re: Touchscreen on a Desktop?

      "Most of the "touch" interfaces are one handed (the other hand usually supports the device you are "touching")."

      So exactly how are you going to browse pr0n then??

  13. dan1980

    I wonder how many of the existing XP installs in the Chinese public sector are in breach of licensing terms?

  14. RAMChYLD

    ReactOS

    China should look into sponsoring ReactOS if XP support is so important to them. Seriously, there are a lot of programs, namely games, that won't run under 7 or 8 properly if at all. Even in XP mode (because of said 3D requirements). Ie Fallout 3, which has broken BGM under 7 and Bethesda turning a blind eye to the issue.

    WINE? When I last tried to run SimCity 2013 in WINE it gave me some cryptic error message about activation...

    1. Bucky 2

      Re: Wine (was: ReactOS)

      Yeah, Wine is an odd product.

      On the one hand, from a purely academic standpoint, it really is kind of a wonderful piece of reverse engineering.

      On the other, there has historically been some rough treatment in both directions of both end users by engineers, and engineers by end users. On the plus side, some of the really abrupt comments seem to have gone missing from winehq since last I looked, so maybe things are looking up.

  15. Steven Roper

    I wonder

    how much of this animosity is about Windows 8 itself and how much is due to its:

    1) de-emphasis on local storage and emphasis on cloud storage, with its ongoing security risks and payments to retain your data.

    2) requiring or at least constant nagging to log in to a Live account allowing MS to track your usage of the machine.

    3) moving to a "rental" software business model with constant payments and forced updates.

    It's not the interface so much as the invasiveness and control of the machine that is the issue for me and most other people I've discussed this with. China aren't stupid. They know what companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple are trying to do, and I suspect they don't like it, any more than I do.

    If I pay for a computer, it is mine. End of discussion.

    1. dan1980

      Re: I wonder

      @Steven Roper

      Yes to all that, but as a whole, encompassing more that just those specific points, it's about Microsoft designing their software around a business model, rather than designing it around what the customers want.

      In doing so, they are essentially trying to force their customers to fit their business model.

      It's their business so they can do what they want but with that position must come the acceptance that there will be customers who believe that software should fit their needs and not the other way around (what a crazy notion!) and who will choose accordingly.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: it's about Microsoft designing their software around a business model

        I'm rather surprised that Microsoft bases its business model on everyone having 100Mbps connections whereas most people in the US barely have 2Mpbs.

        Sure, in Taiwan they have 100Mbps (or so I heard), but for most other people in the world, the Cloud is just a slow remote drive that is not always there. And not secure. And not under your control.

        So yeah, what's not to like ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder

      I hate 8 as much as the next man but having elected not to use a Live account it has never nagged me about it.

  16. crediblywitless

    Superstition

    What with the Chinese thing about 8 being a lucky number, you'd think they'd go for Windows 8 enthusiastically.

  17. StevenV

    Windows7 bests all comers

    including Windows8. Nice problem to have. . .

  18. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    I wonder how much of this is driven by Chinese paranoia (or knowledge) of NSA backdoors in Windows. Linux and BSD are the most advanced FOSS bases for an OS/distro available and their is a distro available for Chinese users; Ubuntu Kylin.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    China is migrating to Kylin (which is a Ubuntu-derivative:

    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2014/05/ubuntu-kylin-oem-partners-announced

  20. MacGyver

    Get Windows 8.1 for Free?

    No, Remind me later. (or preferably not)

    Fool me once, shame on you, have me install your crappy "upgrade" once, and then after I update my firmware, have my OS go insane until I format and reload my OS again?

    I know exactly why China doesn't want Windows 8, I know all too well.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just wish IBM had marketed and shifted OS/2 better back then. It was the superior OS at that time. The desktop/laptop IT landscape would be a better place now.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Nailed it.

      What I really don't understand is how IBM did not make all Fortune 1000 companies understand just how much better their OS was, and how more suited to business it was.

      IBM has so missed the boat in the PC space and it is continuing to do so.

      The loss is all the more bitter.

      1. Nigel 11

        I'm still hoping that "Elephants never forget", and that IBM is going to take its revenge on Microsoft at some future date. Possibly if/when Microsoft announces EOL on Windows 7 with no business-appropriate replacement in sight.

        I'm told IBM uses Linux on a large scale internally, including on desktops.

  22. Andy Davies

    The US and EU could and should have used the same tactic - after all buyer pressure is part of the free market!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My company upgraded all its Win8 devices...

    ...to Windows 7.

  24. Nigel 11
    Linux

    Linux alternative?

    China may not have many alternatives to Microsoft, though, given that the country's homegrown OS "Red Flag Linux" apparently shut its doors and fired all staff in February.

    the question there should be "what did Red Flag Linux offer, that the commonly used Linux distributions do not?" The common distros all come with Chinese Language support. Not being Chinese, I cannot comment on how good or otherwise that might be. But maybe they simply felt there was nothing that Red Flag Linux offered, that Ubuntu or Fedora or Centos could not also offer. They can read all the source code. They can modify or add packages to their own requirements. Linux isn't all-or-nothing in the way that Windows is.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At the Beach Even Vista Kicks Sand in Windows 8's Face

    No love for the tile

  26. Yugguy

    CHINA VS MICROSOFT!!!!

    FIGHT!!!

    They should both just build giant fighting robots.

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