The Chinese computing market looks much like most of the world. Windows rules desktops. Android rules smartphones. Now, the Chinese government wants to challenge both giants by putting its own homegrown operating system on everything.
A Reuters report says that a senior official with COS — The China OS project — appeared on the Xinhua news agency on Sunday to claim that the Linux-based operating system will launch as soon as October on desktops and will expand to smartphones and tablets later.
“Creating an environment that allows us to contend with Google, Apple and Microsoft: that is the key to success,” the Chinese Academy of Engineering’s Ni Guangnan told Xinhua.
To be fair, China’s own OS is not going to suddenly replace Windows and Android. Despite a release date that’s only about two months away, it’s still incomplete. Guangnan says that he hoped the system would replace Windows in about two years, and Android in about five. That’s ambitious, considering the program lacks research funds and has “too many developers pulling in different directions” according to Xinhua.
The Chinese government and Microsoft haven’t been so thick, lately. In May, the Chinese government banned Windows 8 on government computers, allegedly in response to fears about American surveillance. [Xinhua]