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Tuesday, May 20, 2014
China Boycotts Microsoft's Windows 8, Confronts U.S. Ambassador


China summoned the U.S. ambassador and banned government use of Windows 8 operating system (OS), after the United States accused five Chinese military officers of hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets, state media said on Tuesday.

The Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban on installing Windows 8 on government computers as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products.

The Xinhua news agency said the ban was to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system, which was widely used in China.

Xinhua's Tuesday report said that the Central Government Procurement Center mandated that all "desktops, laptops and tablet PCs purchased by central state organizations must be installed with OS other than Windows 8."

The procurement center had posted a notice May 16 with revised requirements for government tenders, including one that barred Windows 8-powered systems, supposedly for energy-saving reasons, from any bids.

According to Xinhua, the ban of Windows 8 was designed to avoid a repeat of XP's widespread use and its exit from support.

"The Chinese government obviously cannot ignore the risks of running OS without guaranteed technical support," Xinhua said. "It has moved to avoid the awkwardness of being confronted with a similar situation again in future if it continues to purchase computers with foreign OS."

Instead, China will accelerate the design of an in-country operating system based on Linux.

In another move that could be reated to the Windows 8 ban, China summoned the U.S. ambassador after the United States accused Chinese military officers of hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets.

The U.S. Ambassador to China, Max Baucus, met with China's assistant foreign minister Zheng Zeguang on Monday "protested" the actions by the United States, saying the indictment had seriously harmed relations between both countries, state news agency Xinhua said.

Zheng told the U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucuss that depending on the development of the situation, China "will take further action on the so-called charges by the United States".

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged five supposed members of the Chinese People's Liberation Army with hacking into computers and stealing trade secrets from six U.S. organizations. Suspects targeted companies including Alcoa Inc, Allegheny Technologies Inc, United States Steel Corp, Toshiba Corp unit Westinghouse Electric Co, the U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG, and a steel workers' union.




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