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XP users urged to switch alliegance to Linux

2014-05-12 09:37 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan
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China's Ministry of Industry and Information of Technology (MIIT) urged Windows XP users in China to switch to domestically made computer operating systems, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

"We want users to pay attention to the potential security risk brought by their Windows XP system as Microsoft ceased providing further patch services. At the same time, the ministry will work on developing China's own computer system and applications based on Linux and we hope that the users will give more support to these domestically made products," Zhang Feng, chief engineer of MIIT, told CCTV.

According to Zhang, some 70 percent of China's computer users use Windows XP, including many local governments. The security threat posed by the XP system should not be underestimated, he said.

CCTV drew a comparison between Windows XP and a domestic computer system.

Video footage shows that the layouts of the two systems look basically the same and the speed of the domestic system is just about the same as XP.

However, some applications, such as QQ, Tencent's online chat software, cannot be installed on the domestically made operating system.

"Linux only accounts for 1 percent or less of the global market. It's natural that commercial companies are unwilling to develop software that adapts to this platform," said Hu Changjun, a research fellow from MIIT.

Some mobile devices, such as cellphones and cameras, are also unable to connect to the domestically made system.

"Many manufacturers do not provide corresponding drives for the Linux system," said Vice President of Standard Software Qiao Yong, citing similar reasons mentioned by Hu.

However, compared to Windows 8.1, the price of domestically made systems is significantly lower, which could serve as an advantage. Some of the systems can be downloaded for free.

"Other countries, like Russia and Germany, have already begun adopting their own operating systems in their governments. Our government needs to enhance its support for domestic products. We should not only rely on State-owned software enterprises but also invite other companies and industry associations to participate," said Ni Guangnan, an academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

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