China working on Linux replacement for Windows XP

By , Network World |  Software, Linux, Windows XP

China is working on a Linux operating system that can replace the now-vulnerable Windows XP and protect the country's networking infrastructure.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will "beef up support for the development of such an OS," according to China's state news agency Xinhua.

+Also on Network World: China's unsupported XP machines hold the potential to become a massive botnet army |FAQ: What you need to know about the end of Windows XP support +

The agency says about 70% of PCs in China still run Windows XP despite the fact that Microsoft has shut down security updates for it, which makes XP progressively more vulnerable to attacks.

"The shutdown will bring risks directly to China's basic telecommunication networks and threaten its overall security," says Zhang Feng, chief engineer for the ministry, according to Xinhua.

The news agency doesn't say whether the Linux-based operating system will support all the apps Windows XP supports, nor does it set a timetable for developing it.

Meanwhile he recommends that end users install "shield" software made in China to guard against data leaks and Internet-borne attacks.

Microsoft issued the last security update for Windows XP on April 8.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the  Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at  tgreene@nww.com and follow him on Twitter@Tim_Greene.

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