China Means to Replace Windows with a Home-Grown OS, Launch Due in October

The government-run Xinhua news agency stated on Sunday that China is working on an operating system that’s meant to compete against the ones made by Microsoft, Google and Apple.

Given this country’s recent technological progress, it wouldn’t be such a big surprise if they were serious about this whole OS deal. The Chinese operating system, which has yet to be named, will first be available for PCs, and at a later point, a version for smartphones will be developed. Considering that China is the biggest market in the world, such news should instill some fear in the other OS makers.

Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering stated that “We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores.”

This is not China’s first attempt to make a (somewhat) new operating system, COS (pictured above) and Kylin being two such examples. However, the OS that’ll be launched this October seems to be the most ambitious project of them all. Ni mentioned that end of Windows XP support and the ban on Windows 8 on government computers determined domestic developers to focus on developing an alternative to Microsoft’s OS.

Chinese authorities were pretty disturbed when Microsoft announced in April that it would stop support for its 13-year old OS. As a consequence of that, the government decided to ban Windows 8 on its computers. Ni claims that in one to two years the new Chinese OS could completely replace Windows, and in three to five years it could replace Android and iOS as the main mobile operating systems. According to Ni, the plan is pretty simple: “Creating an environment that allows us to compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft, that is our key to success.”

On Wednesday, August 20, Penta Wan Jing Information Technology Industry Group acquired Red Flag Software’s assets. Since this company is the one that developed Red Flag Linux in 2000, it’s easy to assume that this acquisition has something to do with the new OS China is going to launch. Ni approved of this acquisition and even pointed out that a revitalized Red Flag could play a substantial role in the development of a domestic operating system. It remains to be seen how China’s own OS will fare against the other titans.

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