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Operating Systems China Software Politics

A New Homegrown OS For China Could Arrive By October 93

Posted by timothy
from the which-governement-holds-your-data? dept.
According to a Reuters report, China could have a new homegrown operating system by October to take on imported rivals such as Microsoft Corp, Google Inc and Apple Inc, Xinhua news agency said on Sunday. Computer technology became an area of tension between China and the United States after a number of run-ins over cyber security. China is now looking to help its domestic industry catch up with imported systems such as Microsoft's Windows and Google's mobile operating system Android. The operating system would first appear on desktop devices and later extend to smartphone and other mobile devices, Xinhua said, citing Ni Guangnan who heads an official OS development alliance established in March. It would make sense for even a "homegrown" operating system to be based on existing ones, in the way Red Flag Linux is. Conceptually related: Earlier this year, Chinese company Coship Electronics announced (and demonstrated) a mobile OS called 960 OS.
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A New Homegrown OS For China Could Arrive By October

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  • by 0xdeaddead (797696) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @09:27AM (#47741705) Homepage Journal

    that'll be abandoned in 2-3 years.

    Just what we need, more fragmentation. And zero innovation.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When they come up with the first Chinese programming language, they'll either leave the west in the dust or tangle themselves up for good. Say what you will about unicode domains, but without a common language, the world will always descend into us vs. them.

    • by aix tom (902140)

      From experience, it is usually enough to have the comments and the variable names in a foreign language you don't understand to make source code completely unreadable.

    • I can already see it. A cheap rip of C language, symbols replaced with Chinese characters, and the language is called ming, coming with a book that is a complete rip off the white book.
  • by rssrss (686344) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @10:24AM (#47741913)

    Information Warfare: Running For Linux January 9, 2011 [strategypage.com]

    For a decade now, China has been trying to get business and government users to adopt Unix (and later Linux) as their operating system. Yet most Chinese businesses, and many government departments, continue to use Microsoft operating systems. They do this because Microsoft Windows is widely pirated in China, and there's a large amount of pirated software you can use only on Windows systems. Another critical reason is that more games run on Windows machines, and that is important, even in China. Finally, the Chinese government is more resistant to complaints from Microsoft than Russia.

    * * *

    China has tried to get around this by subsidizing Linux training for Chinese engineers and computer technicians. The government also subsidized the development of the Kylin Unix based server software. Kylin is shareware, and anyone can download it. Kylin is also designed to be very secure, much more secure than Microsoft server software, and most other similar products. China has had more success in getting users to adopt non-Microsoft server software, but the real battleground is PCs.

    • If I lived in China, I would not want to use software sponsored by the Chinese government. Yes, Windows could well have CIA backdoors, but if I lived in China that would worry me less.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 24, 2014 @10:26AM (#47741927)

    I've heard variations of this story come up on slashdot since I started reading back in 2000. It seems like China is always starting some government mandated homegrown operating system... None of them ever seem to become successful. Here is what I could find just on the first page of a google search:

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/14/01/17/194245/chinas-government-unveils-china-operating-system-to-great-skepticism
    http://linux-beta.slashdot.org/story/99/11/10/1457205/linux-to-be-official-os-of-peoples-republic-of-china
    http://beta.slashdot.org/submission/3273261/china-gets-government-backed-operating-system-cos
    http://bsd-beta.slashdot.org/submission/1010903/china-chooses-freebsd-as-basis-for-secure-os
    http://beta.slashdot.org/submission/3279227/china-shows-off-its-own-smartphone-operating-system
    http://linux.slashdot.org/story/08/12/03/2033243/red-flag-linux-forced-on-chinese-internet-cafes

  • No, the Chinese government would probably WELCOME piracy of their O.S. because it would mean that their backdoored (it that a word?) O.S. was spreading even beyond what they hoped for.

    The problem is that very few software companies like Microsoft would write applications for it knowing that the number of actual PAYING customers in China will be few. I think I read somewhere that a Microsoft exec. said they made more money in the Netherlands than in all of China because of piracy. The simple business analys

    • by jandersen (462034)

      You're all flaming enthusiasm, aren't you? You mention compatibility problems as the main reason why we should expect this to fail - but, as someone who has worked with cross platform development, I know that this is only a small problem. It is perfectly possible - easy, even - to write portable code, certainly on the back-end of an application; I have done so across all UNIXes, Linuxes, Windows, and even z/OS, VMS and MPE/iX. The only problems arise at the front-end, but with proper engineering, it is not

  • by mjwalshe (1680392) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @11:48AM (#47742285)
    In no way Is this a home grown operating system
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's not enough to simply put out a distribution. We need useful code that runs on it, new features (or better yet- improvements on the code itself, ie bugs fixes, etc).

    However the problem isn't entirely the OS, but a lack of auditing. While insanely expensive every piece of non-complex code aught to have two eyes on it at all times and more complex code should have dozens.

    Then we need good solid default security policies for different audiences that are easy to apply and separation of concerns. If we're co

  • by minstrelmike (1602771) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @12:36PM (#47742491)
    When looking into video game consoles, I was stunned to realize that Xbox and PS3/4 are _not_ even close to being the most popular video game consoles in the world. The top three are all Chinese consoles you've never heard of. Population-wise, the US is to China as VietNam is to the US and I suspect the Chinese worry about Americans about as much as we Americans worry about the Vietnamese.

    Our economic might blinds us to the realities of the actual world and that perhaps is the most dangerous flaw in American culture. Remember the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks (both civilizations), the Romans, the Ottomans? (There is a similar litany for homegrown emperors in China, also, but no one talks about it.)
  • by ebusinessmedia1 (561777) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @01:34PM (#47742729)
    China has been controlled from the center for millennia; this is China's fatal flaw. Attempts to control population in a wired world is going to limit exposure to social and intellectual capital. Long run, it's a dead-end strategy. China should be most famous for wasting more social and intellectual capital than any culture in the history of humanity, entirely due to closing off possibility via control from the center.
    • by msobkow (48369)

      China is no more "controlled from the center" than any other government-run country. They have local governments and bureaucrats, they have fiefdom cities, they have states/provinces. As with any other country, there is a hierarchy of management.

      And unlike the communist days, there is little to no "central management" of resources in China any more, other than the government investing in large projects that would be studied to death and never approved here in North America.

      People just seem to love ba

  • Starting an OS is all very well. But until the first release and a usable, we have commonly about ten years, required to finish the OS. This was with linux, with windows... So Chinese programmers may make a new OS. In ten years I might consider it.
    • If it's supposed to be available in October, that sort of implies that they've been beta testing for a year, now.

      • by hooiberg (1789158)
        China and testing... I hope it is different from the famous Chinese Tamron lenses for cameras. If you are lucky, you get an excellent one with the quality equaling lenses five time the price, and if you are unlucky, you can send it right back... Because... testing?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can believe that one motivated guy, or a small team of guys could write a workable operating system kernel from scratch in the time span of 2-3 years. And the Chinese government could require that applications be written for it.

    The GUI layer is tougher, but maybe they could adapt Qt for it.

    But what about device drivers? Unless they're using one of the existing standards, i.e. Windows, Linux, or BSD/OS X, then it's going to be a bear convincing vendors to write drivers for their new OS. Not good enough

  • Why Bother? (Score:5, Funny)

    by rssrss (686344) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @04:16PM (#47743609)

    From the lead article:

    "In May, China banned government use of Windows 8, Microsoft's latest operating system"

    It seems to be a needless gesture. Even in the US, no one uses Windows 8.

  • KDE German. Linux Finn. The PC ancient rubbish that killed invention. They used to be so many different computer systems and operating systems government departments used to have custom-built OS systems for custom-built computer systems. My first job when I left school was custom-built computer systems and today 2014 Windows still runs like it is running on a 286 The Asians, the Europeans, the Africans the Americans should have dumped that PC geriatric a long time ago. Son of a bricklayer Tommy Flowers di
  • I am a Chinese working as a China analyst at a think tank. It is becoming more and more apparent to many people, that the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) knows it is on its last straw of survival.

    The party is facing severe and increasing systematic stress on all fronts:

    1. Increasing external oppositions from all other countries in the world including all of China's neighbours. They are forming more and more alliances and becoming more outspoken with rising strengths against China, in addition to increa

  • Old story long told though, If China is determined to utilize Linux-based OS in public domains, there are more investment on Linux, both developers, maintainers, and technical support technicians. More investment surely help the development of technologies. To name an example, high-speed trains in China is actually boost a lot of projects that increase common welfare and live level for major populations in China. Let's hope that China take this serious and the bureaucracy don't boil it at all this time.
  • Oh good. Noob hackers need a new platform to practice on. Windows exploits are SO 20th century. If their knock-off OS is anything like their knock-off lunar rover, it should be as stable and secure as the first release of Win95, providing no end of fun for wannabe malware authors.
  • By the way, does anybody know how to use QQ/WeiXin on Linux?

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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