China will focus on the development of a new operating system (OS) based on Linux to cope with the shutdown of Windows XP, an official said Wednesday.
Zhang Feng, chief engineer of China's ministry of industry and information technology, said "the ministry will beef up support for the development of such an OS", Xinhua reported.
Microsoft ended support for the 13-year-old Windows XP operating system on April 8 and advised users to upgrade to Windows 8 or get a new PC, if necessary.
About 70 percent of Chinese personal computers, even in critical sectors like telecommunications, are still running on Windows XP.
"The shutdown will bring risks directly to China's basic telecommunication networks and threaten its overall security," said Zhang.
In February, Tencent, Kingsoft, Sogou and other Chinese internet service providers said they would provide technical assistance for Windows XP users to upgrade systems and guard against risks.
Zhang advised individual users to install Chinese-made shield software to fend off possible online attacks or information leakages.
Linux is an OS assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. It is a leading OS on servers, mainframe computers and super computers.
It is estimated that Linux has a market share of less than 1.5 percent worldwide, after nearly 91 percent market share of Windows and some eight percent of OS X.