Microsoft could be the next victim of the US-China trade war, with reports that China will move away from Windows to an own-developed operating system, citing security concerns.

The edict at present only involves the Chinese military, with the People’s Liberation Army’s Internet Security Information Leadership Group (ISILG) being tasked with developing an alternate operating system to replace Windows on their current PCs.

The PLO are reportedly concerned that US may use vulnerabilities to hack into their Windows installations, something we know, due to Edward Snowden, is quite realistic.

The replacement OS will reportedly not be Linux based, with China concerned that US may have known vulnerabilities for that OS already.

China has also expressed concern about the industrial controllers in their machinery, with 70% of machines using a German logic system.  USA had previously hacked Seimens controllers to disrupt Iran’s ability to refine Uranium. China will be looking to replace these controllers, and otherwise prepare better for cyber attacks.

It is unlikely Microsoft will suffer significant financial loses from China moving from Windows, due to high levels of software piracy there, but a bigger concern would be if China is able to develop viable alternatives to Western operating systems and software, and spread these to their vassal countries. This could result in a balkanization of the technology would which would likely impede progress for everyone involved and leave us all poorer.

Source: Kanwa Asian Defence, via Techradar

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