Feeds

China shutters Windows ‘rival’ Red Flag Linux

Glorious free operating system of the people is no more

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?