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NeoKylin OS is China's own Windows XP

One thing we have learned when looking into North Korea’s Red Star OS, is that, while a number of foreign governments claim that they want nothing to do with American companies, their efforts in coming up with home-grown replacements for their IT infrastructure, is invariably inspired by either Microsoft Windows, or Apple Mac OS X.

By this same token, the People’s Republic of China has made considerable strides in partnering with Linux developers, in response to Microsoft’s end of support for Windows XP.

NeoKylin - Windows XP clone

The result was NeoKylin OS, a Linux-based operating system that looks and feel like Windows XP, in nearly every aspect. Even further, the Chinese government has gone through lengths to replicate, or mimic, bits and pieces of Microsoft Office, to provide government employees a set of built-in productivity tools.

Past rumors have hinted to China building its own proprietary operating system, with a tentative October 2014 release. The operating system’s original rumors entailed an App store, and proprietary cloud storage.

NeoKylin - Windows XP clone

The problem with creating an operating system from scratch is that it’s a daunting task, and one that no company has ever bothered with, since the dawn of Linux, an OS on which nearly all new operating systems, with the exception of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X (a Unix-based operating system), are built upon, including Android, Chrome OS and Tizen. Even Microsoft’s own wearable fitness tracker Band, runs on Android, which is built on a Linux core platform.

NeoKylin - Windows XP clone

A recent YouTube video published by Quartz shows just how similar NeoKylin is to Microsoft Windows XP. The Similarities however are merely a way to ease the transition for thousands, or even millions of Chinese government workers, who have been issued Windows XP laptop and desktop devices, for the past 15 years, with no attempts made to provide upgrade options to, at the very least, the still supported Windows 7.

NeoKylin - Windows XP clone

Ironically, the inception of NeoKylin in China, which is currently distributed in 40% of Dell PC, isn’t likely to make a single dent in Microsoft’s revenue, as Windows licensing in China has always been rather difficult to track due to widespread piracy. If anything, Microsoft has reportedly been providing the Chinese government with copies of Windows 7, and the recent partnership with China based Baidu, has created an entry point for Windows 10, with Chinese consumers.

Currently, an estimated 27% of Chinese PCs still run Windows XP, with a large chunk belonging to government-issued devices.

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