Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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China to Launch Its Own Operating System Replacing Microsoft Windows

Red Flag Linux

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China is planning to launch a home-grown operating system to detach itself from using foreign-made OSs such as Microsoft Windows.

Xinhua, the government-run news agency, said China is targeting the release of its operating system by October.

The OS will initially be offered on desktop personal computers and later on expand to smartphones.

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Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told People's Post and Telecommunications News, a trade paper run by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) that they are hoping to release the Chinese-backed operating system supporting app stores.

Ni leads an official operating system development alliance established in March by Beijing.

He said the end of Windows XP support and the banning of Windows 8 on government computers opened the door to domestic OS developers.

The elimination of foreign-made OSs will be accomplished in one to two years. The China-backed OS could replace mobile OSs such as Android of Google within a few more years.

This is the not China's first attempt to build a national operating system.

In 2000, Red Flag Linux, a defunct Chinese Linux distribution developed by Red Flag Software and partly government-funded, was the required replacement for government systems that run Windows 2000.

Red Flag Linux, however, flopped due to the shut down of Red Flag Software in February of this year.

Red Flag's software assets were acquired by Penta Wan Jing Information Technology Industry Group for US$6.3 million. Penta Wan Jing aims to revitalize the Red Flag OS and could help shape the new China-developed operating system.

"Creating an environment that allows us to compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft, that is our key to success," Ni said.

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