China has officially banned the use of Windows 8 on all of its government and public computers. The announcement was made as part of a longer note about energy efficiency, though the ban on Windows 8 was tied to security. The Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban and made a statement about it through the state-owned Xinhua news agency. While the ban is official, details as to what security issues China is combating have not been mentioned nor was a connection to energy efficiency noted.
Microsoft already struggles in China so having the government ban the use of Windows 8 on government computers is bad news for the company. In 2011, former CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned that even with sales in China equivalent to sales in the US, Microsoft only receives the same amount of revenue from China as it does from the Netherlands.
Data firm Canalys has already commented on the ban, stating that it will hurt Microsoft’s ability to switch users over to Windows 8 from older versions of the operating system like Windows XP. “China’s decision to ban Windows 8 from public procurement hampers Microsoft’s push of the OS to replace XP, which makes up 50 percent of China’s desktop market,” says Canalys.