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China Bets on Homegrown OS

1/31/2014 06:30 PM EST
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John_Linq
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China flagship operating system vendor Red Flag disbanded
John_Linq   2/25/2014 1:47:20 AM
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The so called China Operating System (COS) is just a joke. Many Chinese developers and Internet users wouldn't buy COS.

Red Flag Linux is a real operating system with quite good quality; however, due to political incorrectness, Red Flag has been disbanded.

DMcCunney
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CEO
Re: something tells me...
DMcCunney   2/8/2014 7:16:21 PM
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@junko.yoshida: I wonder how much of the "security" aspect of it has driven China to develop its own OS.

I think that depends on what you're talking about when you say the word.

Mostly, I think this is a national pride effort.  There's a very strong "Buy Chinese products, made in China, by Chinese" over there, with a corresponding reluctance to use things not Chinese unless no other alternatives exist.

I concur with the other poster who suspects this effort is likely based on something like Linux or Android (which uses a Linux kernel.)  It would certainly be possible to write an OS from scratch, but making it compatible with huge numbers of things written to run on other OSes, as this claims to be, is another matter.

The principal safety feature mentioned is that it can only get and install apps from the official app store.  (Android has no such requirement, and malware spreads from shady sites because it can.)  Apps offered by the official app store will supposedly be vetted to insure they're clean.

But given the attempts by the Chinese government to lock down computer systems and communications, and prevent free access to the rest of the world by Chinese citizens, I'd worry about malware installed by the government, to keep track of where the user was going and what they were doing.

I can certainly see offering consumer grade and military grade encryption, though I am amused by "The Chinese don't want software infrastructure that relies on weak RSA encryption and no western company can ship strong encryption east,"  Export controls on strong encryption simply demonstrate those making the rules have no understanding of technology.  The principles behind strong encryption are well known and documented, and anyone with the technical capability (which China certainly has) can roll it's own.

 

vandamme0
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Freelancer
Re: Chinese Gov. milestone
vandamme0   2/8/2014 3:23:09 PM
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It is very simple to do yet another Linux distro. There are over 300 of them now, including Hanna Montana Linux and Justin Bieber Linux. They just took Red Hat and put some "extra" stuff in it, no doubt to protect their citizens from anti-revolutionary ideas. It also keeps Windows and its NSA spyware out, something which is beneficial to everyone.
http://www.distrowatch.com/

zewde yeraswork
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Re: China OS
zewde yeraswork   2/5/2014 9:47:45 AM
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it's unlikely tha tthe Chinese government will even try to enforce that one OS over everyone. It is more likely that they see the opportunity in developing an OS that could compete in international markets and that they develop one to that end.

Susan Rambo
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Re: China OS
Susan Rambo   2/4/2014 8:42:18 PM
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Chinese manufacturers will still be making export products with "western" OSes. Just that fact alone makes me think it's impossible to enforce one OS on such a large country, black market or no.

JimMcGregor
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Re: something tells me...
JimMcGregor   2/4/2014 11:42:37 AM
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The reasons for China's efforts to develop an OS are the same for developing other technologies - economics. The recent spying scandal is not a revelation to anyone. Most of the governments around the world do it at some level at it is well understood. The politicians are just publicizing it to further their cause and for political gain.

zewde yeraswork
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Re: something tells me...
zewde yeraswork   2/4/2014 9:00:46 AM
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How much of this would then be China looking to protect itself from unwanted surveillance by, say, the US government and how much of it would be China creating the foundation for its own surveillance?

junko.yoshida
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Blogger
Re: something tells me...
junko.yoshida   2/4/2014 7:50:41 AM
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Well, something tells me that the govenrment's motive is elsewhere...

junko.yoshida
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Re: something tells me...
junko.yoshida   2/4/2014 7:49:41 AM
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@JimMcGregor, I take your point. However, here's something that's not clear to me. The development of China's home-grown OS has been going on way before this whole data hacking news by the U.S. government became widespread.

I wonder how much of the "security" aspect of it has driven China to develop its own OS.

junko.yoshida
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Blogger
Re: Case of TRON
junko.yoshida   2/4/2014 7:29:47 AM
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@y_sasaki, thanks. Yes, the thought of TRON also came to my mind when I first learned of China's effort for its home-grown OS. And I must say that I can't even imagine Japan today even contemplating to launch something like Tron project.

But here's the thing.

Had Japan started Tron project not in 80's but today, do you think it would have had a better chance of success? Given what the industry knows what it takes to build an ecosystem leveraging an "open source" community on the global scale?

Or, it would have failed anyway, because Japan tends to lack the global perspectives on any home-grown initiatives?

 

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