Feeds

China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'

Redmond's latest OS is 'big challenge for cybersecurity', says state broadcast

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

China has stepped up its war on Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system with a report in state-backed media that questions the security of the software.

In a one and a half minute segment aired on China's CCTV television channel, journalists reported that the Chinese government is concerned by the security of the Windows 8 software and is increasing efforts to develop its own rival system.

"Microsoft would no longer open its Windows 8 source code to the Chinese government, however the security scheme of the Windows 8 operating system is designed to provide better access for Microsoft to users' database. For China it's a big challenge for our cybersecurity," said Yang Min, a professor at China's Fudan University, through a translator.

"Your identity, account, contact book, phone numbers, all this data can be put together for big data analysis," explains another academic, Ni Guangnam. "The US has a law that requires anyone that has this data to report to the government. The data might be a good way for the US to monitor other countries."

This report follows the Chinese government banning Windows 8 from a chunk of its public sector PCs in late-May.

In March 2013, El Reg reported that Canonical had partnered with various Chinese government agencies to develop and support a Linux distribution named Ubuntu Kylin for the country. Given this television segment, we imagine installations of that OS are about to increase.

"Analysts say the Chinese government's decision, along with the growing demand for information consumption in China, gives local IT companies a great opportunity to obtain funding and develop more appealing IT products," the report's presenter goes on to say.

Just as China is slowly weaning itself off of high-end tech from Western companies in its supercomputers by developing custom interconnects and processors, the country looks set to do the same with software. This is a sensible strategy, given its ever-growing tussle with the US for economic dominance and the recent security revelations by Edward Snowden about how the NSA has capabilities to compromise the tech developed by US firms.

Microsoft had not responded to El Reg's request for information at the time of writing. Although China is a strategically important growth market for many IT vendors, it's not viewed as a particularly lucrative one by software companies due to its eye-wateringly high rates of piracy. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.