Friday, June 10, 2011

Russia To Create 'Windows Rival'...We have "Red flag"

News from OSNews:
"The Russian state plans to revamp its computer services with a Windows rival to reduce its dependence on US giant Microsoft and better monitor computer security, a lawmaker said Wednesday. Moscow will earmark 150 million rubles (3.5 million euros, 4.9 million dollars) to develop a national software system based on the Linux operating system, Russian deputy Ilia Ponomarev told AFP, confirming an earlier report in the Vedomosti daily." Right. I guess this has absolutely nothing to do with this. Want to buy a unicorn?

This news reminds me that there is another Linux modification, or distribution in China, Red Flag Linux. For some security concerning, as same as Russian government, Chinese government supports a couple of universities and relevant companies to develop a Chinese-Full-supported, source code level controlled and Windows-feel operating system. At last, a company, which stems from Chinese Academy of Science, won this competition and receive continuous order from Chinese Government. At the same time, this OS, actually, a distribution, is available to the public, of cause, with charge. After few years, with the patriotic passion cooled down, some scientists and engineers found that Red Flag Linux is quiet similar to Red Hat Linux, such as the installer, which still have many overlaps after many distribution. Red Flag is also challenged by international organizations, such as GNU foundation, and individual open source developers. They claim that Red Flag violates the GNU licences and "copy left"......
Today, the Red Flag is still there, but we have Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, Debian and so on. As far as I know, none of my friends uses Red Flag or even consider that as an option! However, millions of RMB(¥) had been spent on those projects. I really hope those government support softwares, such as Red Flag, could play a solid role in national security, economic construction and education. Not only a short cut to funding and phenomenon of corruption.

BTW, there is another interest Linux distribution in China, YLMF OS. YLMF are four initials of the pronunciation spell of Chinese "雨林木枫"( Yu Lin Mu Feng), which means "Maple forest in rain". YLMF is the name of that software company, which used to pack and sell piracy Windows. In the past, YLMF had a very large portion of the piracy Windows market, which is said to be the "top 3" and have sold more than 8000000 copies. As the copy right protection in China becomes more and more mature and Microsoft puts more efforts to anti piracy, the traditional business of YLMF have to be shut down. However, those talented and creative guys do not want to give up. Based on Ubuntu, they create a new wrap, everything there is the same as in Windows!!! They call it YLMF OS.

From my point of view, I believe YLMF OS will affect China much more than Red Flag. As Windows used to be cheap, by piracy copy, all Chinese have built a first impression that in a PC`s screen should be a "start". It is a very good opportunity to Microsoft to build up monopolization in China, which is bad without any doubt. Although there have been many scholars and companies found the importance of breaking monopolization and invite other competitors. It is too hard to Chinese netizens to give up Window, which has been with him or her for more than 10 years, and rebuild the familiarity with KDE or Genome. YLMF gives us a solution... Do it step by step and begin with the same UI feeling. 

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