China Wants Linux to Replace Windows, History Proves That’s Not Possible

China is one of the few countries that decided to impose a restriction to Windows installation on government computers and although Microsoft said that it’s still discussing with local officials, it appears that it was all just a dead end for the software giant.China is currently developing its own Linux-based OS

China is currently developing its own Linux-based OS

What’s more, it appears that China is also working on a review policy for imported technology equipment that would clearly affect sales of companies based overseas, although any specifics are yet to be disclosed.

Microsoft continues to offer Windows 7 to the Chinese authorities, but the central government is actually planning a mass migration to its very own Linux-based operating system that would entirely replace Windows.

The new project, which was started in early 2014, was supposed to lead to the creation of a product known as China Operating System, or COS, developed by the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences with help from Shanghai Lian Tong Network Communication Technology Inc.

And still, moving users from Windows to a Linux-based operating system is quite a challenge and Chinese IT experts know this very well. In recent statements made for local media outlets, China officials explain that they hope users to at least give the new product a try, although they themselves admitted that it might be a little bit difficult since many of the Windows apps do not run on Linux.

History also proves that moving everyone to Linux isn’t quite a thing that can be done fast. Red Flag Software, once the largest Linux-based software maker in China, went bankrupt in February because of poor sales, mostly because the majority of users preferred to stick to Windows.

But even though Chinese users are still addicted to Windows, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft is the big winner in all of this. Instead, Redmond is actually trying to push users to upgrade to newer OS version, as most of the Windows XP and 7 copies they are running right now are based on pirated licenses, a thing that has been affecting its sales in China for a long time.

Stats show that Windows continues to lead the Chinese market right now with a combined market share of nearly 95 percent, but it’s very clear that a ban that blocks Windows 8 from running on government computers is a major drawback for Microsoft, especially because it struggles to boost the adoption of its modern operating system across the world.

“We were surprised to learn about the reference to Windows 8 in this notice. Microsoft has been working proactively with the Central Government Procurement Center and other government agencies through the evaluation process to ensure that our products and services meet all government procurement requirements,” Microsoft told us in a mailed statement, explaining that it hopes to work out an agreement with the Chinese authorities.

“We have been and will continue to provide Windows 7 to government customers. At the same time we are working on the Windows 8 evaluation with relevant government agencies.”