China’s government is building its own operating system in hopes of weaning hundreds of millions of users off Microsoft products… and they’re using Ubuntu. Canonical, the world’s largest commercial Ubuntu servicer, announced plans to build a new operating system for the Chinese government on Thursday. The new OS, called Ubuntu Kylin, is expected to be available for download in April 2013. Canonical is collaborating with the China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Centre (CSIP), which operates under the aegis of China’s industrial ministry, to produce the OS.
“The release of Ubuntu Kylin brings the Chinese open source community into the global Ubuntu community,” said Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth in a prepared statement. “With Ubuntu Kylin, China now has its own secure and stable desktop operating system, produced alongside Ubuntu’s global community.” The Chinese government’s decision to create their own official operating system has precedent. Iran is currently attempting to create a nationwide intranet, and stateside, the CIA has discussed creating a secure in-house operating system.