I've got a number of criticisms of Windows 8 -- why did they shuffle everything around? how do I get to desktop? -- but this is clearly going too far:
China is banning Windows 8 devices from at least some government IT purchases, in a mysterious move that took Microsoft off guard.
The ban came from China’s Central Government Procurement Center, which posted a brief notice last Friday on new requirements for government tenders. Among the demands is that Windows 8 be excluded from the bidding process on computer purchases.
It’s unclear how far-reaching the ban will be. The agency could not be reached Tuesday and the new requirements only concern government purchases for “energy-efficient” IT products, including notebooks, desktops and tablets.
China’s state-controlled Xinhua News Agency, however, was more forceful and said that the government was forbidding the use of Windows 8 after Microsoft recently ended official support for Windows XP. “The Chinese government obviously cannot ignore the risks of running OS without guaranteed technical support,” the Tuesday report said.
Chinese officials have previously stressed that Microsoft should lower the price of Windows. They’ve also said to local press that the nation should develop its own homegrown OS to reduce its reliance on foreign companies.
You get the sense that this is part of larger U.S.-China tensions, but it's hard to say what's driving it. The U.S. response will be interesting.