Reuters reported that the official Xinhua news agency banned the operating system in the name of security and energy savings, although the latter’s bulletin didn’t explain how the ban would accomplish either of those aims. Microsoft declined to comment.
China is a heavy user of Windows XP, an aging operating system that Microsoft desperately wants its customer base to replace with something newer, ideally Windows 8. Speaking to Reuters, data firm Canalys suggested that 50 percent of PCs in China continue to rely on XP.
Meanwhile, Windows 8 has faced an uphill battle for adoption, thanks in large part to anemic PC sales dampening the need for new desktops and laptops. Second, Microsoft’s decision to graft a touch-friendly user interface onto the OS alienated many users who prefer the traditional desktop. Third, an increasing number of users have embraced tablets and smartphones as their primary computing devices—hardware dominated by Google Android and Apple’s iOS, with Microsoft unable to gain much of a foothold.
Rumors suggest that Microsoft is already hard at work on Windows 9, codenamed “Threshold.” In the meantime, Microsoft can only hope that Windows 8.1, which includes a variety of tweaks such as the ability to boot directly to the desktop, can spur more interest in the operating system.
- Why You Might Want to Hold Off Developing Apps for Windows 8
- Microsoft Designer Comments on Windows 8 UX Decisions
- Windows 8 Still Lagging Windows 7 in Sales