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25 March 2013, 10:29

Ubuntu Kylin to become reference OS in China

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Ubuntu Kylin logo

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has selected Ubuntu as the basis of a new reference architecture for operating systems. As part of the Ministry, the China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Centre (CSIP) is working with Ubuntu sponsor Canonical and the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) to customise the Ubuntu Kylin derivative to the needs of the Chinese market. This work is being done by the CCN Open Source Innovation Joint Lab and is expected to result in a first release with Ubuntu 13.04 in April.

Ubuntu Kylin has recently been elevated to the level of an official derivative. It has been customised to make the input of Chinese characters easier and to support the Chinese calendar. Ubuntu Kylin also uses a number of Chinese web services by default and integration of Baidu Maps and the Amazon competitor Taobao is planned. Access to Chinese payment providers and the integration of public transport schedules are also on the feature list for future versions. These changes are being made directly to Ubuntu's Unity user interface with the help of Canonical. Although the default office suite is still LibreOffice, the Kylin developers are cooperating with WPSChinese language link – the most popular office suite in China according to Canonical – and will make its WPS Office available through the Ubuntu Software Centre.

The announcement is part of a five-year plan by the Chinese government to promote the adoption and development of open source software in the country.


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