Good old Jimmy Stewart would have said, “Well, this was always on the cards!” And it was. Windows XP still has a lot of users in China, and many of these have moved onto genuine versions of the operating system within the last few years.

This list, obviously, also includes government users, local and nationwide.

Now with Windows XP finally having reached end of the road, and Microsoft formally ending support for the aging operating platform, millions upon millions in China are still running the old OS. Sure, this is also the case in other parts of the globe, however, on a much smaller scale.

In fact, StatCounter data from September 2013 revealed that more than half of all PCs in China were powered by Windows XP. Some figures even peg this number up to 70 percent!

Back in December Yan Xiaohong, the deputy director of China’s National Copyright Administration suggested that Microsoft should extend support for Windows XP, at least in the country, claiming that ending support would result in more security threats and an increase in software piracy.

With the April 8 cutoff date come and gone, Yan has made another appearance, ruling out plans for the Chinese government to upgrade to a newer version of Windows.

The official claims that a move to Windows 8 would be fairly expensive — I’d imagine he is talking about the hardware costs here, because Microsoft have run some special pretty promotions and discounts for their new operating system in the past.

Interestingly, as is the case with some of the other governments in the world, China does not plan on paying Microsoft for extended support. Instead, Chinese security companies are, according to Yan, now working with government to develop patches for these XP systems.

Fascinating turn of events, but as noted above, this was always on the cards!

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  • Drew J

    I’m sure the Chinese are happy to hear that their Gov’t is too cheap to upgrade computers. It just doesn’t make sense that this powerful of a country can’t afford to upgrade their computers.

  • Ted Smith

    So THIS is the country holding up technology? Lol. I can’t believe there may be more than 70% of the country still using XP. Wake up, China!

  • Kelsy Martin

    I knew a lot of XP users were outside of the US at this point, but I didn’t expect in Asia, particularly China, to this extent. A little shocking, but if it works for their government, good for them. I don’t think it’s a long term option though, so we’ll see.

  • Collectivepitch

    How about… WinXP is the best out of XP/7/8.1? I triple boot all 3 on my laptop. I always come back to XP b/c .NET apps run so darn fast in XP.

    This stuff the new MS CEO is talking about for Windows 9 (small install, fast performance on low end hardware), he’s talking about a modern version of XP).

    You guys seem to forget most PC parts come from China. If the Chinese gov wanted to upgrade, they’ll be doing so at wholesale prices!

    China is cocerned about cost not in terms of hardware, but in terms of loss of productivity. Win7/8 are anti-productive bloated software.

    • Matthew Laws

      Respectfully, I’d have to disagree. XP was great, there’s no doubt about that. However, if you think it’s still the best and most efficient version of Windows, I’d have to disagree. It’s obviously better than vista, but 7 & 8 are superior to XP in almost every aspect at this point.

    • Claire R

      I’d have to agree with Matthew here. XP is not nearly as efficient overall as 7 and 8 are and that’s coming from a huge XP fan. I’ve used all 3 at various times, and it’s clear XP is outdated at this point.

    • Jordi Kloosterboer


    • Collectivepitch

      Hello, guys… Did some1 not read my post? I’m running ALL THREE OSes on my 2013 laptop! It’s not like my viewpoint is limited to XP nor outdated hardware as I also have Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 multi-booted on different partitions, and my laptop was made circa 2013 (sorry, I can’t emphasize enough that my hardware is more than capable of running Windows 7/8).

      XP is hands down the best! Why? Performance! Try running a DirectX 9 game. You’ll get 8X FPS in XP, 2X FPS in Windows 7, only 1X FPS in Windows 8.1. Why should I and the Chinese gov have to put up with the so called “modern OSes” that under-cuts performance by up to 8 times compared to XP?

      Can’t wait for the rebirth of XP in Windows 9. They will restore XP-like performance b/c of very real threats from Apple and Google. At that point, maybe I and the other millions of Chinese gov techies may see a point to using a newer Windows as the staple OS!

      • WillyThePooh

        DirectX 12 is out and you are still using DirectX 9!

    • WillyThePooh

      I don’t believe the bloated ware theory as they have enough IT to remove all bloated ware. As they are now competing directly with US. For national security reason, they should spend money to develop their own OS instead of giving money to US.

  • Ray C

    Maybe Microsoft just needs to disable XP. If more than a year or two out from the end of support you still have XP, it just dies. LOL. I’m sorry I don’t believe this stuff about XP running better. I’ve never run XP and 8 on the same system, but I’ve run XP and 7 on the same systems pretty much since 7 has been out. I’ve also been a part of several XP to 7 transitions. Unless we’re talking about very specific applications, I’ve yet to see a system run better with XP than 7. I’ve seen some where the improvement with 7 might have been very small, but I’ve yet to see one that XP ran better on. And of those I upgraded, they ran even better once I moved them to 8

    • Collectivepitch

      Hmm, let me guess, sys admin? I take it you’ve never developed your own app before. I also take it you’ve never ran XP + 7 on the same laptop before. Desktop computing power just masks Win 7’s deficiencies. It’s when you go on a laptop that Win7 blows. I can’t even run iZ3D anaglyph games decently with Windows 7. I get normal, if not hyper frame rates when ran in XP.

      All this aside, you’ve got a serious problem when you’re running apps for national defense, and they’re running 8 times slower than they should be on the modern OSes…

      • WillyThePooh

        I believe you. DOS programs run even faster than the GUI one.

  • WillyThePooh

    For Chinese government, I think their ultimate goal is to have their own OS instead of depending on US. So there is no point to spend a lot of money to upgrade.