Apps & Software

China to Launch OS, Challenge Microsoft and Google

Douglas A. McIntyre

In what is likely to become a major challenge to Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows and Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android, China will release its own operating system.

According to the Xinhua news agency:

After concerns about U.S. surveillance and a monopoly probe of Microsoft, there is some good news for China’s homegrown operating system (OS): a desktop version may be ready in October.

Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told the People’s Post and Telecommunications News that the OS will be first seen on desktop devices and later expanded to smartphones and other mobile devices.

Ni heads an OS development alliance established in March. There are still problems in the program, including a lack of research funds and too many developers pulling in different directions.

“China has more than a dozen mobile OS developers with no independent intellectual property rights because their research is based on Android,” said Ni, adding future development should be led by the government.

According to the report, Ni said the end of Windows XP and the government ban on the procurement of Windows 8 have opened the door to domestic OS developers.

“Our key to success lies in an environment that can help us compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft,” said Ni.

Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS, Android and Windows are the basic software for almost all PCs and portable electronics devices in the world. The primary exception is open source Linux.

Of course, the irony of the China announcement is that the People’s Republic has been widely reported to be pirating U.S. hardware and software for decades. Ironically, China now hopes to use what is a legitimate way to box out other operating systems. It will, however, need to force most of its businesses and citizens to use the new OS, since it will be incompatible with technology used nearly everywhere else in the world.

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