Goodbye Windows: China to create home-grown OS based on Ubuntu

Ubuntu logoUbuntu maker Canonical has signed a deal with the Chinese government to create a new version of Ubuntu. For China, this is widely seen as an attempt "to wean its IT sector off Western software in favour of more home-grown alternatives," the BBC reported.

In other words, it's an attempt to move from Windows to Linux. According to NetMarketshare statistics, Windows has 91.62 percent market share on the desktop in China, compared to 1.21 percent for Linux. The other 7.17 percent is OS X.

China is developing a new reference architecture for operating systems, based on Ubuntu. The Chinese version of Ubuntu—called Ubuntu Kylin—will be released next month in conjunction with Ubuntu's regular release cycle.

"Ubuntu Kylin goes beyond language localisation and includes features and applications that cater for the Chinese market," Canonical said in its announcement. "In the 13.04 release, Chinese input methods and Chinese calendars are supported, there is a new weather indicator, and users can quickly search across the most popular Chinese music services from the Dash. Future releases will include integration with Baidu maps and leading shopping service Taobao, payment processing for Chinese banks, and real-time train and flight information. The Ubuntu Kylin team is cooperating with WPS, the most popular office suite in China, and is creating photo editing and system management tools which could be incorporated into other flavours of Ubuntu worldwide."

This won't just be a desktop operating system. Canonical said "future work will extend beyond the desktop to other platforms" such as servers, tablets, and phones. To work on the software, Canonical and China have set up a joint lab in Beijing to host engineers from Canonical and Chinese government agencies.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: China, Linux, OSes

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