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Microsoft Corp has joined hands with Lenovo Group Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd to provide software security services for Windows XP users in China, after the U.S. tech firm stopped updating the operating system.
Microsoft wants users to move to later, more secure versions of Windows and so stopped servicing the 13-year-old XP this week, leaving users vulnerable to viruses and hacking.
As an estimate, XP has 200 million users in China, or 70 percent of the market. Experts feel, upgrading could be expensive as computers running XP might not be powerful enough for newer versions of Windows.
Microsoft aims to provide information protection, post-virus repairs and upgrades to the newer Windows 7 or 8.
Microsoft has made it a priority to provide safety protections to domestic users who continue to use Windows XP before upgrading to a new operating system.
Tencent, has said, it will provide permanent XP support free of charge, and that it has set up two 24-hour hotlines. Lenovo, however, declined to comment.
Among other partners, Qihoo 360 Technology Co will offer security support and, for 299 yuan, help users transition to newer versions.
Qihoo 360 will continue to provide Windows XP support to Chinese users as long as there are still XP users in China.
Encouraging users to upgrade could also reduce the number of computers running pirated Windows XP software. However, the cost of upgrading has irked some users. Added to any transition fee is the cost of the software at least 888 yuan for Windows 8 – plus the cost of any hardware upgrade.