Ongoing tension with the US is boosting calls within China to reduce dependence on American technology. But it’ll be years before the country can create a homegrown operating system good enough to rival Microsoft Windows.
“It will take at least 3, 5 or even 10 years [for us] to truly compete with foreign operating systems,” said Union Tech general manager Liu Wenhuan, who oversees the development of UOS, on Wednesday. The Linux-based system, which looks very much like Windows, is marketed as a rainy-day alternative to US software. But it’s still playing catch-up with Western rivals.
It was only earlier this year that it finally managed to boot within 30 seconds running on Chinese-made chips. Union Tech says it’s currently working with partners to make more gadgets and software compatible with UOS. The long-term goal is for UOS to make up at least 30% of the Chinese market. So there’s still a long way to go. Last year, three-quarters of China’s computers were still running on Windows, according to CNCERT, the national cyber emergency response body. MacOS takes up another 20%.