Thursday, May 22, 2014

How long must you support a product? China, Windows 8, and Windows XP

An interesting report has emerged from China.

China has announced that it will forbid the use of the Windows 8 operating system (OS) in new government computers, a move to ensure computer security after the shutdown of Windows XP....

Microsoft ended support for this 13-year-old system on April 8, arousing safety concerns....

[T]he Chinese government obviously cannot ignore the risks of running OS without guaranteed technical support. It has moved to avoid the awkwardness of being confronted with a similar situation again in future if it continues to purchase computers with foreign OS.

Now there could be a lot more to this story - the report also notes a desire by China to nurture home-grown operating systems, and SC Magazine UK speculates that this may or may not be related to the United States government's indictment of five People's Liberation Army officers for cyber espionage.

But the question still remains - what is a reasonable timeframe for supporting a product?

And how should different markets affect support decisions? Perhaps Windows XP isn't the dominant operating system in the United States, but it does have a 70 percent market share in China.

Then again, there's a reason why Windows XP is so popular in China.

Windows XP is one of the most pirated operating systems ever, so Chinese users are actually running counterfeited copies that were not receiving updates from Microsoft anyway.

While my Chinese readers may disagree, the whole timing of the government Windows 8 ban looks questionable.

However, there's one group of people who are in complete agreement with the Chinese government - the Linux/Mac fanboi community, whose blood pressure rises 20 ticks whenever Microsoft is mentioned. They're probably applauding the Chinese government decision.
blog comments powered by Disqus