A Look At China’s Homemade OS That Aims To Replace Windows


When Microsoft decided to end support for their popular computer operating system Windows XP – that didn’t mean that people stopped using the aging OS. According to Microsoft, 0.99% of the worlds computers using Windows, are still running Internet Explorer 6 – the default Internet browser that shipped with Windows XP. While that’s significantly lower than last years world usage by 4.4%, The Peoples Republic of China accounts for 66% of those computers running Internet Explorer 6. However, the high percentages are likely due to piracy that still remains rampant in China’s consumer market.

Still, the Chinese continue to hold on to the legacy OS and have been working on their own version for over a decade now. Technically the OS is based on Linux – earlier versions were based on FreeBSD. In 2010 the China Standard Software and the National University of Defense Technology signed a partnership to launch an OS known as “NeoKylin”. This OS is what that would be used for national defense and many other sectors of the country’s economy.

According to Dell over 40% of the PCs sold by the company in China are running NeoKylin, which gives it a significant exposure in the Chinese consumer market.

But what is it like actually using the OS? For starters, it definitely looks eerily similar to Windows XP – the community version which was recently reviewed by Quartz, is said to have same basic code as the ones shipping on Dell computers with some minor improvements to the interface and additional drivers.

Despite its likeness to Windows XP, Quartz mentioned that it’s not very user-friendly and frequently blocks the installation of third party software. One application that they did point out that was pre-installed, was the NeoShine office suite. The application seems to be using code from the now defunct OpenOffice suite, it even has icons that look just like Microsoft Office.

This is all very interesting to say the least, but China like most countries are still dominated by Microsoft operating systems – more than 56% of the Chinese OS market share belongs to Windows 7, with Windows XP still at a whopping 32%.



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