The government-run Xinhua news agency stated on Sunday that China is working on an operating system that’s meant to compete against the ones made by Microsoft, Google and Apple.
Given this country’s recent technological progress, it wouldn’t be such a big surprise if they were serious about this whole OS deal. The Chinese operating system, which has yet to be named, will first be available for PCs, and at a later point, a version for smartphones will be developed. Considering that China is the biggest market in the world, such news should instill some fear in the other OS makers.
Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering stated that “We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores.”
This is not China’s first attempt to make a (somewhat) new operating system, COS (pictured above) and Kylin being two such examples. However, the OS that’ll be launched this October seems to be the most ambitious project of them all. Ni mentioned that end of Windows XP support and the ban on Windows 8 on government computers determined domestic developers to focus on developing an alternative to Microsoft’s OS.
Chinese authorities were pretty disturbed when Microsoft announced in April that it would stop support for its 13-year old OS. As a consequence of that, the government decided to ban Windows 8 on its computers. Ni claims that in one to two years the new Chinese OS could completely replace Windows, and in three to five years it could replace Android and iOS as the main mobile operating systems. According to Ni, the plan is pretty simple: “Creating an environment that allows us to compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft, that is our key to success.”
On Wednesday, August 20, Penta Wan Jing Information Technology Industry Group acquired Red Flag Software’s assets. Since this company is the one that developed Red Flag Linux in 2000, it’s easy to assume that this acquisition has something to do with the new OS China is going to launch. Ni approved of this acquisition and even pointed out that a revitalized Red Flag could play a substantial role in the development of a domestic operating system. It remains to be seen how China’s own OS will fare against the other titans.
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As a part of a sweep that cited some 198 websites, China government officials directed Apple to remove obscene content listed in its App Store in the country. Apple recently faced criticism about, and eventually apologized for, its warranty policy in China. The Financial Times reported an app was pulled earlier this month for providing access to banned books, just days after the warranty issue surface. A report by Bloomberg suggests Apple includes a quote from research firm owner Mark Tanner suggesting Apple needs to do more to enhance its relations with the government to curry favor with consumers. Whatever the case, the listing on state-run news agent Xinhua does not specify the banned content, although it's probably still available on App Stores in other regions.
Liquid oxygen and kerosene, that's what fuels China's new -- and freshly tested -- rocket engine. When fired up on Sunday, it withstood temperatures as high as 5,432 degrees Fahrenheit (3,000 degrees Celsius) for 200 seconds and powered through almost 20,000 revolutions per minute in a rotational test. "The successful tests confirm the reliability of China's LOX / kerosene engine," test commander Lai Daichu told China Daily. According to China Central Television, the engine is non-toxic, pollution-free and the first of its kind for which China holds proprietary intellectual property rights -- though similar engines have been used by other space agencies. The engine is on track to lend the upcoming Long March 5 rocket a total of 118 tons of thrust, giving it enough oomph to launch a 25-ton payload into low-earth orbit or 14-ton cargo into geostationary orbit. Its expected to haul additional portions of the country's space station and aid lunar exploration, but the first voyage isn't slated until 2014.
[Image Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation]
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State news agency Xinhua is reporting that China is planning to launch a manned spacecraft later this month. A Shenzhou-9 capsule and rocket are already in place, and when it launches it'll manually dock with the nation's space station: Tiangong-1. The nation is moving quickly to capitalize on its successes last year, after learning how to dock two objects in high-speed orbit. Once both are linked up, the three astronauts on-board would move across to perform scientific experiments before returning to Earth in the craft, as you do.
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But of course, nothing actually happened. In fact, the guards at Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City were pretty relaxed when I visited on that very day. As for the rumormongers, the Chinese government announced through Xinhua that 16 websites have been shut down and six people have been detained, while local microblogging platforms Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo have been "criticized and punished accordingly," though it didn't elaborate on the details. All we know is that comments under each weibo post are now disabled until local time 8pm on April 3rd, during which these two companies can, in their own words, clean up the mess. Well, at least we now know where to draw the line for China's April Fools'.Permalink | | Email this | Comments