China has one of the biggest Windows XP user bases in the world, and shaking this addiction seems to be more difficult than people could have imagined. Now, even the government is getting involved and is asking Windows XP users to switch to a Linux solution, preferably something made in China.
Microsoft decided to end support for Windows XP, which means that the Chinese users who still rely heavily on this operating system face a serious problem. Some of them are not willing to upgrade or they don't have the means to. This excludes all those using pirated versions.
Things are starting to get serious in China because the Windows XP-powered computers are becoming more and more vulnerable with each passing day, and the authorities still don't have a solution.
“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,” said Zhang Feng, chief engineer of MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information of Technology), according to a report by ecns.cn.
Zhang Fen, one of the few people in China who seem to have the right numbers, says that almost 70% of the computers in the country have Windows XP installed, including authorities from local governments.
The issue of migrating people from Windows XP to a Linux system was even presented on the China Central Television, which is the main broadcaster in the mainland. Numerous experts from China's Ministry of Industry and Information of Technology expressed their concerns, but they also explained that Linux was not ready to receive new users.
“Linux only accounts for 1 percent or less of the global market. It's natural that commercial companies are unwilling to develop software that adapts to this platform,” also said Hu Changjun, a representative the Ministry of Industry and Information of Technology.
Some of the main applications employed by the regular Chinese users are not supported on Linux and the developers are not willing to make the necessary changes. The government officials also noted that other countries were already taking the appropriate steps towards Linux, like Russia and Germany.
One of the main problems in China is the fact that the users don't have a major Linux distro to adopt. However, Ubuntu Kylin, which is only just starting to gather a following, might prove to be a good option in the coming months.