Beijing: China is trying to counter possible security risks for state agencies after Microsoft stopped providing security updates for the Windows XP operating system, a government official said here today.
"Security problems could arise because of a lack of technical support after Microsoft stopped providing services, making computers with XP vulnerable to hackers," Yan Xiaohong, National Copyright Administration deputy director, told a press conference.
Microsoft ended support for the 13-year-old Windows XP, which remains a major operating system for Chinese computer users, after April 8 and advised users to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and get a new PC if necessary.
"Windows 8 is fairly expensive and will increase government procurement costs," he said, adding that relevant authorities are negotiating with Microsoft over the issue.
Windows 8 is sold for 888 yuan (USD 142) in China.
To protect the 13-year-old operating system and help users continue using it, Chinese security providers have released specialised XP-protection products.
"The government is conducting appraisal of related security products and will promote use of such products to safeguard users` information security," Yan was quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency as saying.
The Chinese government has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in buying copyrighted software since 2010, when China launched an anti-piracy drive among government agencies, Yan said.
By the end of 2013, all government agencies above the county level had been examined, and their practices of buying pirated software had been corrected, he said.
The government has also been moving to extend the campaign to big state-owned enterprises in recent years, according to Yan.