Windows 8 is facing a new challenge after China announced it would ban the use of the operating system in government computers, citing a lack of security structures in the existing Microsoft software. The move comes only weeks after Western governments and agencies warned against using Internet Explorer until Microsoft fixes a security glitch in the browser.
It is the latest technology company to come up against the Chinese government, but experts say it also signals a renewed interest in security following the revelations of massive spying on users by the National Security Agency and the recent scare from the Heartbleed Bug.
The Chinese government said in a press release that all desktops, laptops and tablets that are being funded and financially supported by the government must not use the Windows 8 operating system.
The statement published by the Central Government Procurement Center says that "the measure targets only government offices" and that "personal computers on the market will be unaffected."
China currently runs much of its governmental computers on the now defunct Windows XP, which saw updates canceled by Microsoft as it pushes out the new platform and aims to move users onto a more modern operating system.
The move also follows continued Chinese fears over Microsoft products. The government's aim appears to be to increase security of its internal systems after a number of security flaws were discovered in Microsoft programming.
Reports suggest the Chinese government is making the move "to avoid the awkwardness of being confronted with a similar situation again in future if it continues to purchase computers with [a] foreign OS."
Microsoft seems a bit taken aback by the move, telling reporters that it is surprised and hopes to work out something with the Chinese government to secure a major investment partner.
"This morning, the China Central Government Procurement Center posted a notification titled 'Bidding Process for Government Purchasing Energy-efficient IT Products.' The notification indicates that the Windows 8 operating system is excluded in the bidding," Microsoft was quoted as saying.
Microsoft adds that it is working with all Windows users to ensure they have the best quality operating system as well as the latest security needs for each government or personal use.