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China-developed Ubuntu Kylin OS gives boost to Dell

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

09-18-2015 16:50 BJT

By CNTV Commentator Tom McGregor

The Texas-based computer giant, Dell, has taken a bold step to replace Microsoft Windows with a pre-installed Chinese Operating System, Ubuntu Kylin OS, on 40 percent of its computers sold in China.

Linux, an OS rival to Seattle area-based Microsoft, is utilizing Ubuntu Kylin, geared towards Chinese users with localized customizations, such as the New Sougou Input Method for Chinese typists, according to LegitReviews.

Canonical has teamed up with China Software and Integrated Chip (CSIP) promotions center, which operates under China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (CIIT). They set up a joint R&D (research and development) lab in Beijing where software engineers collaborate to build new OS upgrades.

Localizing for Chinese users

Dell supports Ubuntu Kylin, because the OS has Chinese users in mind, and it's forging ahead on a new reference architecture for operating systems.

"Ubuntu Kylin goes beyond language localization and includes features and applications that caters for the Chinese market," a Canonical press release is quoted as saying. "In the 13.04 release, Chinese input methods and Chinese calenders are supported, there is a new weather indicator."

Canonical added, "Future releases will include integration, Baidu maps and leading (Online) shopping service, Taobao, payment processing for Chinese banks ... Future work will extend beyond the desktop to other platforms, such as servers, tablets and phones."

The upcoming Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 version, scheduled for launch next month, will offer Ubuntu Touch software installed on China-based smartphones, Meizu MX4.

Shattering Window’s dominance

According to NetMarketshare statistics, as of May 2013, Windows had 91.62 percent market share on desktops in China, compared to 1.21 percent for Linux and 7.17 percent for OSX.

Nevertheless, such ancient statistics seem irrelevant for today's China, especially since Dell and Hewlett Packard (HP) are selling PCs in China with Ubuntu Kylin OS that are connected to the Linux distribution system.

"The release of Ubuntu Kylin brings the Chinese open source community into the global community," Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth told FastCompany news Website. "With Ubuntu Kylin, China now has its own secure and stable desktop operating system, produced alongside Ubuntu’s global community."

Apparently, Ubuntu-powered PCs from Dell and HP are big in China, which could be setting the stage for a global Ubuntu launch. For the past few decades, Microsoft stood as 'king of the hill' in the global OS market, but Linux and Ubuntu have made significant strides to challenge Windows for market supremacy.

Upgrades, upgrades and more upgrades

Canonical's Ubuntu Kylin does offer at least one major advantage over Windows. Whereas Microsoft launches new version about once a year and sometimes once every few years, Ubuntu introduces new versions every six months.

LinuxGizmos reports that Ubuntu's latest version 15.04 OS, "Vivid Vervet,” has been updated for Linux distribution as “a fully converged platform spanning cloud, device and client."

Most upgrades were on the server side, which includes a new LXD container technology that integrates with OpenStock, via IoT (Internet of Things).

The new secure container hypervision LXD can connect virtual machines, such as robots, drones, network switches, mobile base stations, industrial getaways with IoT hubs in order to communicate with each other for operational purposes.

Additionally, Ubuntu developers are planning to introduce a single app to the market next April that automatically conforms with UI (user interface) on any mobile or desktop device.

Going the distance with Ubuntu

Outside of China, few people have heard about Ubuntu Kylin OS. Yet, Microsoft has struggled in recent years to stand at the forefront of software innovations. Hence, Ubuntu is attempting to fill that void.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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