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China building a national operating system based on Ubuntu

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Ubuntu (STOCK)
Ubuntu (STOCK)

Canonical's Ubuntu platforms are set for a huge boost after the Chinese government chose the OS to form the basis for its new "open and standardised operating system." The announcement comes as part of the government's five year plan to accelerate the development and promote open-source software in the country, which it hopes will reduce the reliance on Microsoft and Apple platforms.

"Future work will extend beyond the desktop to other platforms."

Initially, Canonical and CISP will work with the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) to release a new desktop version of Ubuntu — codenamed Kylin — in April, which will include apps and features which are focused on the Chinese market. There are already plans to integrate Baidu maps, enable links to Chinese shopping service Taobao, and allow payment processing by Chinese banks, incorporating local elements not found in Windows or Mac OS.

China also plans to expand beyond the desktop and use Ubunutu for servers, on mobile devices, and in the cloud. This could go some way to combat the dominance of Android in China, after a report from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology expressed concern at Android's control of its smartphone market. Two weeks after the report was published, the Chinese government has made positive changes to alter the desktop computing and mobile landscape in the country.