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07 June
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Asia

China is not ready to say goodbye to Windows 7

Less than 10% of Chinese computers run on Windows 10

Photo: AFP

/NOVOSTIVL/ After more than 10 years, the curtain has finally come down on Windows 7. But it looks like many people in China aren’t quite ready to bid farewell to the country’s dominant PC operating system. This article appeared on SCMP.

Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 this week, ceasing technical assistance and security updates for all users. While this affects nearly a third of the world’s computers, according to figures from NetMarketShare, the situation is even more drastic in China. In the third quarter of last year, almost half of the country’s computers were still running on Windows 7, according to CNCERT, the national computer emergency response body.

Microsoft is encouraging users worldwide to upgrade to Windows 10, currently used on less than 10% of China’s computers, to keep their PCs safe from potential threats. But some die-hard Windows 7 users say they have no plans to move on.

"As long as there’s no virus in Windows 7, I’ll keep using it," - said Bao Juan, a freelancer who told us she thinks the platform works better than Windows 10.

She’s far from the only one refusing to let go. From school campuses to workplaces, people in China say they still see computers limping onward with old operating systems.

"I work in a hospital and some devices are still running on XP, - said one Weibo user. - Some newer medical software can’t even be installed.”

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP back in 2014, nearly 13 years after it was born.

Windows 10 arrived in 2015, three years after Microsoft released the drastically redesigned Windows 8 that confused a lot of people. Windows 10 was hailed by some critics as a welcome return to an interface that’s more in line with previous versions of Windows. But the seemingly constant software updates that come with it annoy some users.

"I originally used Windows 10, but since it kept updating, updating and updating, and I couldn’t use it without updating, I switched to Windows 7," - said Ms. Xu, a third-year university student from the southern city of Kunming.

Others expressed similar frustrations on Weibo.

In response to a comment that slammed Windows 7 users for failing to adapt, one person wrote: "You must have never been in a hurry. Sometimes I’m in a rush to use the computer, but the moment I turn it on, it updates for 10 or 20 minutes. Usually it updates automatically and then gets stuck, and I can’t even turn it off. Only works when I switch to the pirated version.".

But for some people there’s another hurdle: Outdated hardware.

"Most people are reluctant to upgrade to Windows 10 because their computers are too old, - said Gude Mengan, a popular tech blogger with more than 2 million followers. - The popularity of smartphones means people are using their computers less and less".

Since 2014, China has had more people accessing the internet through smartphones and tablets than on PCs. According to a recent report from research firm QuestMobile, Chinese users are now spending an average of six hours a day online on mobile devices.


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