China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has signed an agreement with Canonical to develop a version of Canonical’s Ubuntu desktop operating system for use throughout China.
The new operating system will be named Ubuntu Kylin. Today more than 90 percent of China’s desktops are estimated to be running Microsoft Windows.
Ubuntu Kylin goes beyond language localisation and includes features and applications that cater for the Chinese market. In the 13.04 release, Chinese input methods and Chinese calendars are supported, there is a new weather indicator, and users can quickly search across the most popular Chinese music services from the Dash. Future releases will include integration with Baidu maps and leading shopping service Taobao, payment processing for Chinese banks, and real-time train and flight information. The Ubuntu Kylin team is cooperating with WPS, the most popular office suite in China, and is creating photo editing and system management tools which could be incorporated into other flavours of Ubuntu worldwide. . . Future work will extend beyond the desktop to other platforms.
Development of Ubuntu Kylin will be done at a facility in Beijing by programmers from the China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Center (CSIP), the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), and Canonical. They’ve named the facility the CCN Open Source Innovation Joint Lab.
Will this open-source effort stop Microsoft in its tracks in China?
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