China Operating System (COS) is the latest offering in mobile operating world, err.. lets not call it ‘world’ because it does not seem that it will go out of China. COS is the result of a joint effort between the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a company Shanghai Liantong, that specializing in communication system. The project is state approved and funded by the government.
The aim is apparently “to break the foreign monopoly in the field of infrastructure software”. COS also intends to work on PCs, smart appliances and set-top boxes and not just on smart phones and tabs.
Looking at the screenshots of the COS running on tabs and smartphones, it looks more like a copy cat of Android. As per the Chinese media, there are over 100,000 apps available for COS. This is an unbelievably huge number for an OS launched recently. Looking at some of screenshots, I can say that either the apps are from a Google Play emulator or a copied Chinese version of popular apps. After all, Rovio is not going to release Angry Birds Space for COS, at least this soon. It should not come at surprise as we all are aware of the Chinese capability to ‘copy’ anything and producing stuffs in large quantities (no offense meant to Chinese people).
Not the first time:
Chinese government has been focusing too much on home grown operating system and is relying heavily on Open Source System. Earlier, it has announced Kylin, an Ubuntu variant for desktops. In fact, COS is not its first attempt at mobile operating system. It has burnt its hands with OPhone (Open Mobile System) which failed to gain popularity.
Killing two birds with one stone:
The launch of COS, in my opinion, is influenced by NSA spying row. With COS, Chinese government wants to keep USA spying at bay and at the same time it can spy on its citizen easily. Killing two birds with one stone, ain’t it? Well, it depends if the stone hits the target i.e. the users. In a country where Apple products are so popular that some people sell kidney for it, it will be curious to see if there are many buyers for COS. What you say?