Windows XP finally hit end-of-life two days ago after 13 years on the market. While most consumers have moved off Windows XP many enterprises have been dragging their feet in making the upgrade. Microsoft made it clear it would end support for Windows XP six years ago.
Consumers in China are in a more unique situation compared to the rest of world. It is estimated that nearly 200 millions users in China are still using Windows XP and many of them IE6 too. The Chinese press seem to have taken this as a chance to bad-mouth foreign businesses, while promoting China’s underwhelming domestic software industry. Foreign Policy reports:
In an April 8 article published prominently at the top of its website — an area usually dedicated to chronicling Chinese President Xi Jinping’s activities — state-run news agency Xinhua slammed Microsoft’s decision as “extremely irresponsible behavior” that “shows a lack of trustworthiness,” warning the move would imperil “Internet security as well as the future of Microsoft.” The screed claimed that the end of XP puts China in an “awkward position” because “much of the operating systems are controlled by foreigners.” It is also an occasion for “China’s domestic operating system to rise to the challenge.”
The article fails to mention that 90% of Chinese users are running a pirated copy of Windows XP. A Chinese national confesed:
“I use a pirated version,” confessed one user, “and I really have no standing to ask Microsoft for anything.”