First it was Windows 8, and now it is Redmond’s biggest breadwinner. China has now banned the use of Office, in what is clearly a move to distance the country from Microsoft software.
The news that the Chinese government had banned Windows 8 from government PCs shocked the world earlier this year, and now the central government and subordinate departments are said to be forbidding the use of the Microsoft Office suite of productivity applications.
Reason cited is familiar enough — officials believe it contains spyware from the US government. Convenient, as far as reasons go, but very much unproven as of right now.
This was first reported by CRI, with a reveal that government offices are now banning Office, and instead, the Chinese government plans to use internally developed software as a replacement for the popular productivity suite.
However, soon after the news broke out, Microsoft released a statement, saying it is not true:
Whatever the truth is, there are two facts to consider here.
China is a massive market for Microsoft, and the company has made some serious efforts in this part of the globe in terms of research and development, even retail sales of its newer hardware products. But at the same time, the local government is actively trying to avoid Microsoft software.
Now whether Redmond works directly to remedy these concerns remains to be seen. Nevertheless, these are troubling developments, all in all.
And one can only hope a ban on Windows Phone smartphones is not on the cards.