Spy games. It had to come down to this, one way or another. Once again politics reared its head in the world of computing technology, but this is a fact that should not surprise anybody in this day and age.

Windows 8 remains a forbidden product on government PCs in China.

And while Microsoft is said to be working with local authorities to revert the decision to ban the operating system, local IT experts have, in the meantime, tried to explain the logic behind the move.

Which is another way of saying that the reports that the Windows XP retirement had something to do with it were wildly exaggerated.

In an interview, Ni Guangnan, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences has said that the government might have banned Windows 8 due to fears that the United States could use it as a spying tool. It is not the operating system per se, that troubled authorities in China.

But rather the built-in tools like Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen, the two security solutions that receive updates and improvements from Microsoft.

The Chinese government was afraid that these could be used to install backdoors on their computers, thereby accessing the data stored on these devices and networks.

Obviously, Redmond does not agree with such claims and have refuted them multiple times.

However, the Chinese government has already kick started the development of a nationwide Linux based alternative, which they hope to refine in such a way that it resembles Windows 8 in the look and feel department. Be interesting to see what they come up with.

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  1. Ok if Microsoft makes a version without these, what will be their excuse?

    • They won’t have one! But that won’t stop them from coming up with a new one after that! 😉 It’s ridiculous.

  2. Bill Franklin / May 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm /Reply

    Sounds like either a desperate excuse to use a national OS, or a legitimate concern from an overly paranoid government. Either way, bad move.

  3. If the US wanted to spy, they would find a way. Just like most powerful countries could. That seems like stupid reason to not use the best software out there on the market.

    • WillyThePooh / May 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm /Reply

      They need to take full control of the OS in case of a war with an ally of US. Strategic move.

  4. Why not just turn off Automatic Updates? However I am sure as in my country all the talk about the NSA intercepting international shipments and installing their own backdoors might weigh in this some.

  5. The “development of a nationwide Linux based alternative, which they hope to refine in such a way that it resembles Windows 8 in the look and feel department” sums it up for me. They’ll just plagiarise Win 8 like they do everything else and then ignore any claims of copyright infringements.

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