China Developing a Linux-Based Windows XP Alternative, Hopes Microsoft Users Will Jump Ship

Windows XP continues to be one of the leading OS versions in China

Windows XP is officially an unsupported operating system, so it no longer receives updates and security patches from Microsoft, but that doesn't necessarily mean that users are ready to give up on it.

China is one of the countries where Windows XP continues to be one of the leading platforms, with some stats pointing towards a 70 percent market share owned by the OS version launched by Microsoft in 2001.

The local government has apparently found a solution to move users off Windows XP by developing its own Linux-based alternative which would not only be offered with a freeware license, but also work on low-spec PCs, such as the ones that are currently powered by XP.

A report by Global Times that's citing a statement of a Chinese official reveals claims that work on this new Linux-based OS has already been started, with local authorities hoping that Windows XP users would actually give it a chance and abandon their existing operating systems that are more or less open to attacks.

Zhang Feng, chief engineer of China's Ministry of Industry and Information of Technology (MIIT), said in a statement that it's essential for the country's security to convince users to give a shot to these locally-developed platforms, but it remains to be seen how many people are actually prepared to give up on Windows.

“We want users to pay attention to the potential security risk brought by their Windows XP system as Microsoft ceased providing further patch services. At the same time, the ministry will work on developing China's own computer system and applications based on Linux and we hope that the users will give more support to these domestically made products,” he was quoted as saying by the source.

One of the main issues is obviously app compatibility, as many of the apps that are currently available on Windows do not work on Linux. At least, not for the moment.

Chinese officials admit that this could be a problem that could limit the adoption of the new locally-developed operating system, but explained that the 1 percent market share currently held by Linux is very likely to experience a significant boost if the final product is truly effective.

China is one of the countries that have asked Microsoft to extend Windows XP support until all local computers are upgraded to a new OS version and even referred to Windows 8 as a very expensive platform that isn't worth the money. Microsoft, however, refused to make any exception and pulled the plug on Windows XP all over the globe on April 8.

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