Windows Enterprise Desktop

Aug 25 2014   4:28PM GMT

Look Out Windows, Here Comes China

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

The news sites are abuzz with word from the official Chinese Xinhua News Agency yesterday (August 24) that Chinese engineers are crafting their own home-grown operating system for desktop PCs and mobile devices. The Xinhua English newsfeed prominently features a piece entitled “Chinese OS expected to debut in October,” that includes language to the effect that “… the OS will be first seen on desktop devices and later expanded to smartphones and other mobile device” according to Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

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Could an “official state OS” be in the offing in China?

In recent months, China has announced it would not adopt Windows 8 for any of its computers, citing nonspecific concerns about security and confidentiality that many industry observers believe speak to the Chinese government’s fears that MS may otherwise enable eavesdropping for a variety of clandestine US interests and agencies. Microsoft is also the focus of an anti-trust investigation currently underway in China. Further, it turns out that Mr. Guangnan is none other than a co-founder of Lenovo, himself a man who remains active on the Chinese technology scene, and still enjoys close ties to the regime, which he believes “should lead the project going forward” (this is a quote attributed to him in a CNN story “China develops Windows and Android killer” 8/25/2014).

This story is getting lots of airplay, and while details are scarce and sometimes contradictory, it’s hard not to perceive this news as something of a pre-emptive strike of sorts, both against Microsoft and the US Government. Paul Thurrott, at WindowsITPro, reports that though an October release date has been mentioned, the initial planned OS won’t be complete by that time, and that delivery of the mobile version of this presumptive OS might not be ready for another three to five years. It should be interesting to see what emerges from development efforts now underway, and how they are received in China and elsewhere. One thing’s for sure: life in Redmond just got a lot more interesting for the operating systems team.

5  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Neutrino
    I doubt MS even care as I would expect most of the version that are in use in China are illegal anyway making this a bit of a waste of a post. Pretty sure China have had their own version of Linux in the form of Ref Flag Linux for years anyway.
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  • Michael Tidmarsh
    From an overall standpoint, I do think Microsoft will have one of those "look over your shoulder" moments. But for now, they don't have anything to worry about but come talk to me in 3 or 4 years.
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  • Ed Tittel

    I agree with both Neutrino (China is an "odd market" for licensed software) and MT (MS could have reason to rue its difficulties in making inroads in China). Should be interesting to see how it all turns out. Right now, I believe it's mostly posturing, but there could be a lot more going on someday. -E-

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  • vpvalentine
    they have there right to try and its all in the game.sure it is hard stuff.i am wondering if m/s will see this as a wake up call. since I am just the end user only it is hard to see how m/s will react and be visable  before all this start to play out. it almost like a bill gates starting.
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  • vpvalentine
    and by the way,if you think it was easy for bill gates who saw its beginning as an  fresh start let the whole industry know now........
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