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China rules out Windows 8 for government computers

A Windows Surface tablet.
Photographer | CNBC
A Windows Surface tablet.

China's government says it will avoid buying computer equipment that runs on Windows 8 in a setback for Microsoft's efforts to promote the operating system.

Tuesday's announcement said desktop, laptop and tablet personal computers bought for government use must use a different operating system. The brief statement gave no explanation.

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Microsoft wants customers to switch to Windows 8 after support for its 13-year-old Windows XP operating system ended in April. Some customers have avoided that, citing expense and inconvenience.

The government is the biggest buyer of computer software in China, so its purchasing decisions can have a significant impact on sales.

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