China to launch home-grown operating system

  • The Chinese government is collaborating with software firm Canonical to produce a new open source operating system specifically for Chinese users.

    The partnership will result in a version of Canonical's Ubuntu operating system called Kylin, set to be launched in April.

    The deal comes as part of a five-year plan by China to encourage more people to use open source software.

    The first version of Ubuntu Kylin will be for desktop and laptop computers.

    Future versions will allow people to use popular Chinese web services such as Baidu maps, the Taobao shopping service as well as local versions of office programs and image management tools.

    Canonical is also working with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to produce a version of Kylin that will run on servers so websites, online shops and hosting firms can adopt the software.

    According to industry analyst, the move is a bid by China to wean its IT sector off Western software in favor of home-grown alternatives.