Chinese IT Giants To Support Windows XP

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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With Chinese market share of Windows XP at around 25 percent, Tencent and other major IT companies are promising to continue XP support services after Microsoft’s April cutoff date

A number of major Chinese IT vendors are to offer support services for Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system after the OS’ support cutoff date of 8 April in order to allow Chinese users to continue to safely use the system, according to Chinese news service Xinhua.

Companies including web giant Tencent, software developer Kingsoft and search engine Sougu.com are to provide technical support services for XP, including security services, according to a Monday report, which cited Tencent senior manager Ding Ke.

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Transition period

The services are intended to protect Chinese XP users during a transition period that could last two or three years or longer, according to Ding, who said that more than one-quarter of China’s computers run XP.

“The up-coming shutdown will seriously affect Chinese users,” Ding said.

Microsoft plans to end technical support, including software updates, for Windows XP on 8 April of this year, but in January agreed to provide a basic level of security for the OS until July 2015.

The security provisions will include issuing new malware signatures for Microsoft Security Essentials, System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune. However, Microsoft warned that the effectiveness of these updates on out-of-support operating system will be limited, and urged customers to upgrade to either Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Market share

The 12-year-old operating system is still believed to have a global market share of about 29 percent. Following the failure of Windows Vista, Microsoft has found it hard to convince businesses to abandon the trusted operating system in favour of the company’s more accessible Windows 7 and somewhat experimental Windows 8.

In the middle of 2013, a survey of 1,789 Japanese government institutions conducted by Yomiuri Shimbun found that more than 200,000 machines in the land of the rising sun will continue to be powered by Windows XP after the retirement date, because it would cost around $2.4 billion (£1.5b) to complete the upgrade.

Google is among the companies that has said it will continue to support its own products on Windows XP, promising last year it will continue to support the Chrome browser on XP until at least 2015.

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