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China seeks to replace Microsoft, Android and Apple with own OS platform

Tue 26 Aug 2014

The Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) has revealed plans to develop its own operating system, which it hopes will override the dominance of imported providers, such as Windows and Android.

Collaborating with the Chinese government, 13 software companies and 80 research bodies, the CAE plans to displace Windows XP from China’s desktop computers by October, and Android from mobiles and tablets within the next three to five years.

Announced in January this year, it is suspected that the Chinese project has stemmed from national security fears about US technology, following the NSA revelations and other cyber security allegations. The country has already banned the installation of Windows 8 on government devices, and also filed an anti-monopoly probe against Microsoft earlier this year.

Ni Guangnan, who leads the alliance of developers at the CAE, explained that the aim behind the technology was to bring China’s software development up to speed with its hardware innovation.

“Creating an environment that allows us to contend with Google, Apple and Microsoft – that is the key to success,” Guangnan told The Guardian.

This is not the first time China has made efforts to create a new OS platform. ‘Red Flag’, a Linux-based operating system was released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2000 for use in schools and government. The company collapsed at the beginning of 2014 due to lack of funding.

The National University of Defense Technology’s ‘Kylin OS,’ originally developed over a decade ago as a high-security governmental platform, was released for consumer use in April 2013. However, reports suggest that this project and other similar efforts are either struggling with low popularity, have been shelved, or are still under heavy development.

Based on these previous attempts, it is expected that the new CAE operating system will involve Linux programming. It is unclear, however, whether the offering will be distributed internationally or limited to Chinese users.


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