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China Open Source Operating Systems Windows Linux

China Looks To Linux As Windows Alternative 222

Posted by Soulskill
from the going-for-a-billion dept.
Bismillah (993337) writes "Once again, after the Red Flag Linux effort that petered out this year, China is considering Linux to sort out its pressing Windows XP issue. The Windows 8 ban by China's government procurement agency and promises of official support may help."
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China Looks To Linux As Windows Alternative

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  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @03:23PM (#47101765)

    2014, the year of the Linux desktop!

    Wait ... what's a desktop?

    • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

      by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @03:31PM (#47101829)

      A desktop is that thing you put your tablet on when you don't use it.

    • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @03:53PM (#47102007)

      That was point I made a while back.
      Linux for the desktop will only take over, after the desktop usage has declined out of the hands of average user.

      The days of the Personal Computer is gone, the Desktop is now a serious Business workstation, reserved for the likes of Engineers, Programmers, Architects, and Finance. Where you need to do a fair amount of processing, isolated from a server so you don't need to share.

      Not the end of the Desktop, but a cut in its usages and move towards more serious jobs.

      This trend is similar to the Mainframe. Desktop PCs and Desktop based servers took over a large chunk of the Mainframe, Mainframe operators touted simular arguments about how you need a Mainframe for real work and these PC are just toys for kids. However over time as the PC got more powerful, it proven itself to be a good replacement for most of the tasks.
      The Mainframe is still around, and it has been relegated to very particular type of work. The same thing will Happen to the Desktop, and in probably 20 year the same thing will happen to mobile devices.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Where you need to do a fair amount of processing, isolated from a server so you don't need to share.

        Or just where convenience of typing is more important than mobility. So, basically any office job.

      • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wSLACKWAREorf.net minus distro> on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:04PM (#47102105)

        The days of the Personal Computer is gone, the Desktop is now a serious Business workstation, reserved for the likes of Engineers, Programmers, Architects, and Finance. Where you need to do a fair amount of processing, isolated from a server so you don't need to share.

        No, we still have the days of the PC.

        The difference is, we don't need one PC per family member anymore. One PC per family would satisfy most families around - techies will probably go with one PC per adult.

        And we're seeing it where PCs are basically stagnating, sitting in the corner unused while tablets and smartphones serve as the daily use model for most people. For the odd task that they don't satisfy, the PC is there.

        But I don't see the PC fading like the mainframe. First, mainframes were relegated to special data centers and owned by a few. Whereas most families (at least the ones that matter) have 2 or more PCs - one for mom, one for dad, one for the kids, etc. And that model will change to probably one for everyone to use when they need it - e.g., school work.

        The PC still has its uses, but the need for everyone to have their own "personal" one over sharing one has dropped significantly.

        • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mlts (1038732) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:36PM (#47102379)

          The "desktop PC" is sort of morphing into a server or a media hub. It won't go away because tablets, e-readers, and smartphones are great media consumption devices, but for media production, there isn't anything that is going to replace the role of a decent monitor, large desktop hard drive, keyboard, and pointing device. It might be a tablet in a dock, but the role of a desktop in a home isn't going to vanish anytime soon.

          • by gbjbaanb (229885)

            Well the "media hub" (or similar) will become less of a PC and more of a device - closed off and in a shiny case. Accessed over your tablet in a nice web 3.0 interface. Same for games - on your console. PCs will become a niche thing, maybe kept alive as gaming rigs or enthusiast machines in the corner, but otherwise banished from the homes of "ordinary" people.

            The server can go too, replaced with cloud storage or processing. Why do you think all the big players are giving you Office in the cloud (ok, apart

            • Re:Finally! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by mlts (1038732) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @05:20PM (#47102697)

              That is true... however, in the US, Canada, and other places, bandwidth isn't increasing, but fees are, so having everything in the cloud can get very pricy. This is why the LAN/WAN model will probably be around for a while. LAN-wise, having a machine have the role of the desktop and the server. With the current climate of ever decreasing data caps, it may end up pricy enough for even "landline" service that one is just better of not using any cloud services whatsoever and having the backups and such handled by a device on the LAN with removable hard disks or a tape drive.

              I can see one device taking up multiple roles. For example, a MS Surface can function as a tablet, a server (when docked and some drives attached), and a desktop (when docked or used with a Bluetooth keyboard.) However, until WAN bandwidth becomes inexpensive, the role of a server on the LAN may not go away anytime soon.

              • I actually think we are going to see more specialised servers appearing in average joe blogs homes. People are more IT comfortable now (not necessarily more literate) and most people seem to be quite comfortable in how to pirate media content. If you live somewhere where you can stream HD then great for you but most people can't so queuing up the Game of Thrones torrent to watch it tomorrow is a very common usage case.

                This is then stored somewhere in their house and sent to what ever is the playback devic

                • by gbjbaanb (229885)

                  I think that's the point - none of us really stress the PCs CPU, so you can easily "outsource" it to a server somewhere and just download the results either on-demand like streaming a game, or via a web interface.

                  That's why I think the cloud will actually become something (I didn't think this a few years ago) simply becuase people want the processing capabilities for various things, but do not want the hassle of a PC they don't understand and have to keep maintained (ie updated)

                  • by donaldm (919619)

                    I think that's the point - none of us really stress the PCs CPU, so you can easily "outsource" it to a server somewhere and just download the results either on-demand like streaming a game, or via a web interface.

                    Why would you want to pay to "outsource" an application that you could easily run on your PC and have full control of everything?

                    What makes you so sure that it is any easier for the average PC user to actually use "Cloud" services compared to actually running their own applications on their PC?

                    That's why I think the cloud will actually become something (I didn't think this a few years ago) simply becuase people want the processing capabilities for various things, but do not want the hassle of a PC they don't understand and have to keep maintained (ie updated)

                    The so called "Cloud" is a marketing buzzword that IT people back in the early 1980's knew as "Remote IT Services". So far nothing has changed.

                    The problem with using the "Cloud" is that you have to pay for it. Thi

                    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

                      I know that many who are still using XP and so would prefer someone else to handle their computing needs... obviously they fail to maintain their PCs or they wouldn't still be running XP!

                      Most cloud services are easier to use - always on, always there, stream music with a click of an app. Stream movies to your TV with a click of your remote. Compare to your home PC streaming to your phone, this is actually simpler. Same for documents in Office 365 or Google Docs, or other files stored in Evernote (or whateve

        • by tepples (727027)

          One PC per family would satisfy most families around

          Unless multiple kids need to type up homework. Or would most families have multiple tablets each with a Bluetooth keyboard?

        • by s.petry (762400)

          You didn't mention the workplace either, which is where the majority of us still use PCs. I don't see tablets taking over the roles of PCs for many of us that use them daily in our work.

          Tablets are fine for small stuff, but for work? In my opinion the screens are too small, and typing on them is horrible, wireless is slower than hard wire and less secure, and storage is much smaller than an internal HDD/SDD. Obviously you can buy extra devices for your tablet to give it most of those things, but you are

        • by kesuki (321456)

          " Whereas most families (at least the ones that matter) have 2 or more PCs - one for mom, one for dad, one for the kids, etc. And that model will change to probably one for everyone to use when they need it - e.g., school work."

          real life doesn't work that way. i am the tech person for my family there are three people here, and here is what works. 1 office desktop with printer, one game/altcoin miner desktop, 4 laptops one of which is dedicated linux to scan and wipe windows flash memory etc., 1 smartphone '

      • by Kjella (173770)

        The computing unit will only grow smaller and smaller, to the point where the form factor is dominated by the interface but no smartphone will give you a huge screen, full size keyboard or beat a person with a mouse in an FPS. I do expect that at some point you just come home and your smartphone hooks up to your TV/monitor via MHL, your bluetooth keyboard/mouse and the phone drives your "desktop". I mean a quad core 2GHz ARM processor, 2GB RAM, 32+128GB storage with microSD... specs from a recent high end p

        • growing smaller and smaller...

          But what you just described is how MS envisions the Surface being used.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mlts (1038732)

        Linux as a desktop instead of Windows can bring some advantages. However, China has some problems to be solved:

        1: Windows has one big advantage -- Active Directory and GPOs. It is relatively easy to manage tens of thousands of desktops with the tools provided. Yes, one can use Puppet, Chef, etc... but Windows's GPO provisioning is still ahead and the expertise is available almost anywhere to deploy this.

        2: F/OSS alternatives to AD and Exchange that are scalable. This means a mail server that probably

        • Personally, and this is only an opinion. I think the bigger issue will be culture and not any advantages one O/S has over another.

          I would suspect there is an appeal to having an expensive, western operating system. I also would conjecture the Chinese aren't dumb and therefore don't trust their government any more than the rest of the world trusts their governments.

          Think of it this way, would you use:

          A: a government issued (ANY government), government approved (Somehow I just don't believe it would actually
        • by siDDis (961791)

          1, That is not really a problem. If you know shell scripting and SSH you have basically unlimited power. Its not even much work administrating 10000000 computers.

          2, I don't know about this, most likely Exchange is more polished. Anyway, I would use a local cloud provider for email. There is no point wasting resources administrating mail myself.

          3, Shell scripting and SSH again? Not really a problem at all.

          4, Access control list (ACL) ?

          5, Do you need encryption if you don't have any read access?

          6, I don't und

      • If you lump laptops and desktops together, I don't think it's time to say those days are 'over'. It's just when:

        the hardware you can get for 400 dollars at Walmart is relevant for running 99% of all the applications the average user wants
        the hardware you can get for $900 dollars can pretty much run the next 4-5 years worth of games at pretty much maximum resolution and quality
        There is virtually no incentive to upgrade.

        Compare this to the late 90's and early 2000's Year on year the performance gains of GP

      • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dannys42 (61725) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:57PM (#47102539)

        This is also why the GNOME's insistence on designing for (what I call) "the mythical grandmother" was always flawed.

        • by coofercat (719737)

          The mythical highly technically competent grandmother?

          I never knew the Gnome folks were trying to keep things 'grandmother' friendly. I get along with Gnome (mostly because I can't be arsed to install anything else), but easy to use it ain't.

          • by dannys42 (61725)

            GNOME 1.x was really great. It was fairly configurable while still being relatively easy to use and did what I (as a developer) needed. Current day GNOME looks like it borrows from the worst of Windows (the stuff even the Windows folks don't even like), and only recently adopted a few things that the Mac does (possibly because Windows copied some of it) but in some weird way that lost all of the intent behind the actions. So we end up with something that's simple but still not understandable because it's

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        So what you are saying, whilst seeming to miss it completely. Is the desktop will continue to be used by the very same people who have used it since its first inception and that the general computer market, the rest of the consumers, lets be blunt, the idiot box market, will end up using alternate simplified devices, more along the lines of appliances, mobile phones and big screen smart TVs with the tablets as a remote for the TV and as mounted family message boards.

        So the desktop market is pretty much n

    • My fortune cookie says Year of the Penguin, biiiiitch!

      • My fortune cookie says Year of the Penguin, biiiiitch!

        Fortune cookies are American, not Chinese. Since they were first made in California, they have spread to other countries, but not to China. Most Chinese have never seen one, or even heard of them.

        This is similar to the situation with Cinco de Mayo, which most Americans consider a Mexican holiday. But the celebration on that date originated in the United States, it is still primarily celebrated in the US, and most Mexicans have never heard of either the celebration or the obscure historical event being ce

        • Squad, a Mexican marketing company that is creating the Kerbal Space Program game took the day off for Cinco de Mayo in order to take part in the festivities in Mexico City.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @03:37PM (#47101869)

    Torvalds raging at Asian kernel patches in 3.. 2.. 1..

  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @03:38PM (#47101885) Homepage

    Good. They should be considering Linux. We all should be.

  • This is dumb. They shouldn't be considering alternatives to a locked in OS. They should getting rid of the entire premise and going OS Agnostic. Then they can switch OS's at will.

  • The upstarts with lower cost and equal or better OSs will take the customer's business. No surprise. Bundled deals to keep the price up will also fail.

    Microsoft has no choice but to lower prices, significantly. That is the real world of competitive business.

  • Not Gonna Happen (Score:4, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:00PM (#47102061)

    MS will not allow this. Look for them to give China whatever they have to, including a few billion in bribes to keep Linux from becoming the official OS.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      What can some US technocrat jet in and say anymore? No OS or computer chips? No banking interconnects? No credit cards? No computer games? No big movies? No easy trade deals? No robotics? No US supercomputers? No getting US export controlled simulation software?
      Lots of funding for dissident groups and cults?
      Its not the 1960's-80's anymore. What the US can hold back in exotic tech the EU will gladly sell or find. Anything else China can now make or work around with its EU friends.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Microsoft can't shut down the NSA though, so in the end (China's) national security is likely to win out. Also, bribery of party officials is punished extremely harshly, including by death, and especially so if it is a foreign company doing it. These days it's more likely that an official would expose the foreign bribery and take credit for that, rather than accepting it.

  • Deja Vu (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ikhider (2837593) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:36PM (#47102381)
    I thought this was a Slashdot story from years ago when China was supposed to ditch Windows...so here we are again and China still has no viable homegrown distro. I thought years ago they phased out Windows and used GNU/Linux. Not so. I know a Chinese insider who tells me that the Government handed out bales of cash to develop a GNU/Linux distro of their own and all Red Flag Linux is, is Fedora with a some Catonese/Mandarin. It was a scam of public funds. They really did not develop their own GNU/Linux distro properly. was interested because, in a racist way, I thought--wow, Asians doing GNU/Linux, it must be AWESOME and kick the other distro's ass. Asians are hard working and fastidious and the distro will intall without a hitch and it will be great. Not really. One of the issues with investing in China when it comes to business are corrupt officials and lack of accountability. In China, you pay off the right people, you do what you want--until you get caught and are made an example of for the press. Linus Torvalds mentioned something about how GNU/Linux could not really come out of places like India and China as the peole are far too concerned about trying to survive, and Linux is something that came about 'just for fun'.
  • I don't even understand why china, of all places, is not 100% Linux wall to wall already...

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The junk consumer encryption and software packages to track people where useful to the gov looking down its telco network?
      They understand more, have their own better deep packet options and fully understand encryption.
      China can now do without US consumer OS brands - a better place to be in any trade negotiations.
  • People forget. One of the biggest reason businesses have for sticking to MS is that their customers use MS and they have to be able to exchange documents in MSs latest format. Well, with China using Linux companies are going to have to use document formats friendly to Linux.

    Goodbye a large chunk of vendor lockin.

    • LibreOffice works for me.

      BTW: MS's nasty vendor lock-in scam is just another very good reason to ditch windows.

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

        LibreOffice works for me.

        BTW: MS's nasty vendor lock-in scam is just another very good reason to ditch windows.

        THIS!

        I've gone full open office, and now have zero compatibility issues between all my machines - including the last Windows laptop. Microsoft Office isn't even compatible with itself between Mac and PC.

        I'm not a Linux fan, I'm a Unix-like system fan.

  • May have an opportunity here.

He who is content with his lot probably has a lot.

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