China has banned the Windows 8 operating system from being installed on any government computers, deepening problems for American technology companies in the country.
that China's Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban, effective immediately, as part of a notice on using energy-saving products.
"We were surprised to learn about the reference to Windows 8 in this notice," Microsoft said in a statement.
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"Microsoft has been working proactively with the Central Government Procurement Center and other government agencies through the evaluation process to ensure that our products and services meet all government procurement requirements. We have been and will continue to provide Windows 7 to government customers."
The official Xinhua news agency cited Microsoft's recent decision to sunset support for the much-older operating system, Windows XP, as part of the decision. Many computers across the globe — including an estimated 50 percent of desktop computers in China — still use the hugely successful operating system.
The Washington Post reported
that other IT companies like IBM and Cisco have experienced sharp drops in Chinese sales since National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed widespread U.S. cyber-surveillance last year.
The distrust between the U.S. and China in regard to technology grew even further this week after the Obama administration charged five Chinese military officers
with criminal cyber-espionage, citing evidence their teams hacked into the systems of major U.S. corporations to steal trade secrets and other data.
Microsoft has long had a problem with piracy of its software in China, saying in 2011 that it generated less revenue in China than in the Netherlands, despite computer sales volumes similar to those in the U.S.
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