@jdesbonnet - I'd say it depends on what their real intentions are. (A question that must be asked, after all. We are still talking about communitst, no?) Anyway, if they are serious, starting over is exactly what they should do. I'd even go so far as to include reviewing the hardware since all the O/Ss they sight as competition are based on either Von Neuman or RISC architectures.
If not serious, then yeah, make it warmed over Linux and rattle that sabre.
RE: ... it's far from clear how quickly and seriously the Chinese OS will attract local Chinese technology companies whose business is supplying products not only to domestic consumers but to the global marketplace.
I really believe the average FaceBook user could care less whose operating system is inside as long as it works, has no bugs, and is transparent, that is, doesn't require a lot of fiddling to get it to work.
Most Smartphone users don't even want to know there is such thing as an Operating System inside. They just want to send messages and photos with the least hassle.
I remember reading an aricle about computers back in the early eighties and someone with a lot of insight predicted that in the future, computers would be so far embedded into the device, it would be invisible to the user. That time has come.
It's like the computer in your car, or washing machine, or oven, or whatever. You just want it to work and not give you a lot of hassle.
I believe in the future, the OS will no longer be even mentioned. The device will be judged by the overall user experience, not by the operating system. No one will care what makes their appliance work. As long as it works!
@BobsView: I think there is more to it than just regular users. I think we saw over the last 12 months that our software, hardware and 'cloud' services are not nearly as secure as many of us thought. The Chinese government would be right to distrust software (especially close source binary) that comes from a vendor that can be directly manipulated be a foreign government (of course this also applies the other way around). So from a strategic pov, it makes sense for their government and industry to use software they know don't have back doors (except the ones they put in themselves :-) )
@ Junko: "Ni's bravado, calling for an environment that can help Chinese "compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft," is impressive..."
Is this operating system targeted for competing with others in the Chinese market alone or is there an intension of competing with the major players in the global market too?
There was a similar effort being made to come up with processor architecture by...I believe Chinese government...how is that progressing? Does the OS development effort has any link to this and vice versa?
@Sanjib: The chip designed by the China national CPU project is known as Godson. If you search for that you will find several EE Timnes stories about several generaitons of the design that have reportedly been used in some desktop PCs and are now being aimed at servers.
It's hard to get information on what real traction the chip has had. But a university researcher leading the project has presented details of the chips at Hot Chips and elsewhere.
@Rick: Thanks for the information on the China's processor project. I see that I lost track of the stories earlier and could find some of those on EEtimes. I am amazed to see that the processor is already in commercial use...mostly used by Chinese government. I understand that it might be difficult to get more technical/performance information about the same further.
@sanjib, Ni was quoted in the Chinese wire service news story that his project intention to compete against Google, Apple and Microsoft.
But considering a huge ecosystem already built in support of Android, iOS and Windows, I would say their initial intention is, first, target the home market (China.)
China has a history of developing its own, home-grown standards and technologies a) in hopes of avoiding paying roylaties; b) in the name of nurturing the home grown industry (building an ecosystem of its own); and c)in the name of security.
The third one is sort of new here and it might make sense. But the first two factors are definitely driving factors for this, for sure.
@Junko: Thanks for a detailed perspective! All of those possibilities you mentioned make sense. The thought that occurs to me that if China wants to avoid using an outsider's OS for security reasons (3c. in your comment)...other countries also might want to avoid China's own OS for the same reason :)
Please consider the China's political environment first. The new government is quite differnt from its former.
You may be quite right about that and I respect your opinion here.
But when the matter comes to something as big as an operating system -- which is obviously targeting both desktops and mobile (used in mass consumer products), I do worry that the government's will alone might not be enough to make things succesful on the commercial market.
Did you know that you India too is working on its OS for more than five years or so? Defence Research and Development Organization ( DRDO) was/is to develop its own operating system (to be developed which will initially be used for defense applications (and later for commercial).
Long before that, there was news that CDAC ( Center for Development of Advanced Computing) has developed OS called the BOSS ( Bharat Operating System Solutions.
But nothing concrete has come up as of now.
The government was to use this OS for its Akash tablet ( the $60 Android-based tablet with a 7-inch screen) which was to be distributed at a lower price to government schools.
But the Akash tablet ( Akash means sky in Hindi) has been developed and is being used but the pure Indian OS has yet to put in an appearance – either in the defense of the commercial space.
Let's see how the Chinese OS takes off.. but knowing how the Indian and Chinese governments, there are chances that the Chinese OS might just do the trick.
Indian government officials have been talking about for years. let me try and find out what they are actually planning - or rather at what stage they are are today or whether it has been shelved or what. It would be interesting especially against this background of a new Chinese OS.
Defintely a was ! I am in the loop on these plans and a local effort does simply not make sense. Linux is open, so calling a variant Indian is simply meaningless. What is being actively encouraged is contributions to the Linux kernel. So you will see a lot more Indian input to Linux. For commercial situations variants like Redhat are actively encouraged.
India is pretty much a Ubuntu/Centos/RH/Android country. Nobody I talk to feels this is a bad thing.
Gluster for example was and continues to be developed out of India (Indian startup with US sales office before RH bought it) but nobody went around calling it Indian. I actively discourage adding the Indian tag to any of the efforts I lead. think it reflects a gross sense of inferiority ! HCL Tech used to have its own BSD/SVR3 based OS back in the 80s and nobody made a big fuss about it. This was not just a distro and had a customized kernel supporting 4 CPUs.
CDAC does have the BOSS Linux distribution but that makes sense, a distro with good Indian locale support. More distros are always welcome.
Having said that there is a major experimental opensource OS effort that I am heading based on the L4 Microkernel. This is needed for high security applications and for virtualizing Android in secure mobile devices. It is an Indian originated effort but is like any other open source project. We also need it for our secure processor which Linux cannot support. This will be used for key defense/secure applications but also for commercial applications like in finance terminals. Currently I have 3 subprojects - to add trustzone, to virtulaize android and to run the new Android VM directly on it so the OS can run andrpoid apps natively. Unlike the Chinese, we are open. You do not have to guess, just ask us ! We will gladly share the code.
You can see it at bitbucket dot org slash casl slash secureos
In any case given the number of Indian geeks at Google and MS, Android and Windows qualify as Indian OSs !
On the surface, it sounds like China has good reasons for the new OS. The Chinese market is huge now and just getting bigger. However, as a previous poster inelegantly stated, the Chinese wll certainly "borrow" the technology they need to bring whatever they have in mind to market. History shows us that. And Apple, Microsoft, and Google have already set the die. I suspect this new OS will be another close copy. I hope they prove me wrong with a new paradigm.
Before dreaming, you first have to be FREE so you can sleep tight. A communist country will never devise anything of value but oppression. The way innovation works in countries like that is by copying, reverse engineer and steal from the rest. All my devices are running Windows, everybody develops apps and packages for Windows and lately for Linux and Ubuntu. We have choices here, we let everybody come in and compete in the american markets and sell cheap stuff without much regulations. Are you going to have a cheap copycat software running your already Made in China hardware. Hellooo...Wake up!