China is targeting an October release for its own homegrown operating system as a replacement for Windows. The news comes after the Chinese government set out to prevent the procurement of software made by Western developers; most notably the ban on Windows 8 in the civil service. Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told the People’s Post and Telecommunications News that the OS will initially be designed for computers, although there are plans to bring it to mobile devices as well.
Ni heads a group of developers who have been working on the OS since March. A project that Xinhua reports as being under funded and facing problems with too many developers pulling in different directions.
It is possible that the developers are rushing the final product out the door to take advantage of the end of support for Windows XP, and the fact that government offices will be unable to procure new computers if they run Windows 8. Ni has said that these recent events 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.
There are no details about this OS at the moment, nor are there rumours about what it might look like or be based on. It is likely that the developers are working off a Linux fork due to the speed at which the project has been moving along. Although that is purely speculation at this point; despite this, it is highly unlikely that this Chinese OS is being created from a completely new Kernel.
Creating a fully Chinese eco-system could be the ultimate goal for the government as it has accused America of installing spyware onto devices sold to the country; a claim that has similarly been leveled by the Americans at Chinese manufacturers. At this rate, it appears that the Chinese government could potentially have entire systems running home grown software just to keep any spies (real or not) out of its business.