Feeds

China shutters Windows ‘rival’ Red Flag Linux

Glorious free operating system of the people is no more

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

China’s homegrown answer to Windows has gone the way of the dodo after failing to make an impact on the domestic market for operating systems.

Red Flag Linux has terminated all staff contracts and gone into liquidation, according to a notice pinned to the door of its deserted headquarters in Beijing, spotted by TechInAsia.

The company is thought to have been in trouble for some time.

In April 2013, Red Flag president Jia Dong apparently told a staff meeting that wages couldn’t be released, and by the end of the year the firm had to close its HQ in Beijing’s Haidian district after being unable to pay rent and utilities.

Staff are now turning their attention to Red Flag’s major shareholder, the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), to recoup unpaid wages which now total almost 15 million yuan (£1.5m).

It’s a face-losing fall from grace for the state-backed project after it was launched to much fanfare 14 years ago.

However, despite some government departments being ordered to install the locally built OS, it failed to make much of an impact on Windows – whether we talking about pirated or genuine versions.

In fact, the Chinese government has for the last few years conducted an expensive campaign to replace all of its fake software licenses with the real deal.

Such is China’s love affair with Windows XP that the government has even tried to persuade Microsoft to continue support for the legacy OS past the April 8 deadline, claiming Windows 8 is too expensive and will only lead to greater instances of piracy.

However, the end of Red Flag Linux will not end China’s search for a homegrown rival to help wean itself off Windows.

In March last year, Ubuntu-pusher Canonical announced it will work with China's National University of Defense Technology and The China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Center to develop a Middle Kingdom-flavoured Linux distribution.

This project appears aimed at building an “enhanced version of the Ubuntu desktop” with Chinese characteristics, rather than a Windows alternative. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.