How hard is it to make a domestic operating system?



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In the field of operating system, which has been monopolized by international giants for a long time, Chinese enterprises are tearing up new gaps.

On April 12, Xu Zhijun, vice chairman and rotating chairman of Huawei, said that it is expected that 100 million devices will run Hongmeng operating system in 2021. Another rumor has it that Huawei’s mobile phone can be upgraded to Hongmeng as early as June this year.

Since Google kicked out of the Android ecosystem in May 2019, Huawei has focused on the development of Hongmeng system in addition to splitting glory. It can run on smart phones, and is also suitable for tablet computers, wearable devices, smart screens, car machines and other terminal devices.

Independent research and development of operating system is related to national security and market interests, but it has always been a short board of domestic science and technology industry. According to IDC, a market research company, Microsoft, apple and Google will occupy 98.8% of the global operating system market in 2020. In the domestic market, the share of the three companies is also more than 95%.


做一款国产操作系统,到底有多难?

There are historical reasons for this situation.

Take Microsoft as an example. Since its entry into China in the 1990s, in order to obtain as many new users as possible, Microsoft has turned a blind eye to private pirated windows for a long time. It did not resort to legal means to crack down on famous pirated software companies such as tomato garden until 2006. At that time, hundreds of millions of Chinese users had installed windows, and Microsoft’s market position was stable.

In the government enterprise market, Microsoft Greater China has obtained a large number of orders through half selling, half sending and technical cooperation. It was not until after 2014 that the government gradually tightened its procurement policy that this situation changed.

But the most fundamental reason is that the difficulty of operating system development and ecological barriers are getting higher and higher, and domestic software is difficult to replace.

On the one hand, the operating system as a computer users, software and hardware convergence, in addition to available, efficient, safe, but also to ensure user experience, resulting in an increasing amount of code. For example, Microsoft’s Windows XP system has about 45 million lines of code, while windows 10 has expanded to about 70 million lines.

On the one hand, the operating system must be recognized and supported by software developers, CPU, graphics card and other hardware manufacturers to attract more and more users. Microsoft has disclosed that as of 2018, the windows system has 35 million applications, and almost all computer hardware supports windows.

Over the past 30 years, the product strength of domestic operating systems such as Hongqi Linux has not been able to catch up with that of competing products such as windows and MacOS, and the software and hardware support is also very scarce. It is difficult to open the market, so we have to rely on government orders to survive. Once the procurement policy changes, the short board of these enterprises’ insufficient hematopoietic capacity will be exposed immediately, and they will soon fall into trouble.

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In the first half of 2014, two major events occurred in the domestic operating system.

First, the bankruptcy and liquidation of Zhongke Hongqi marked the complete end of the development mode of ignoring the product itself and relying solely on government blood transfusion; second, the state further standardized government procurement, required that all computer products should not install Windows 8, and accelerated the localization and replacement of operating system.

On the one hand, veterans are scarred and dejected. On the other hand, a new generation of entrepreneurs are eager to try. Among them is Liu Wenhuan, the developer of deepin system.

In the same year, deepin ranked among the top 20 Linux distributions in the world for the first time, and also received orders from the central government for government procurement.

In Liu Wenhuan’s view, this order is of great significance: the computers in the party and government system account for at least 10% of the national office computers, which is a fulcrum to leverage the market.

By 2017, deepin system has been downloaded more than 50 million times, providing 32 language versions, with mirror sites in 33 countries around the world, ranking among the top 10 open source operating systems in the world.

In 2019, the parent company of deepin system and several other companies will be merged into Tongxin software, with Liu Wenhuan as the general manager. The new operating system is named “unified information UOS”.

Red Flag Linux is hard to learn, hard to use, lack of software is an important reason. UOS has made a lot of improvements to solve these two problems.

In terms of software, the number and types of software in the official application store of UnionPay UOS have been increasing rapidly. In daily entertainment, office and other fields, the UOS has been able to meet the demand.

According to the official disclosure, Tongxin UOS can perfectly support QQ, wechat, nailing and other commonly used social software, as well as Netease cloud music and other video services, and the adaptation of QQ music, iqiyi, Youku and other entertainment software has also been put on the agenda.

On the other hand, Tongxin UOS has fully adapted to the common software such as Jinshan WPS, Jinshan Ciba, Sogou input method, enterprise wechat, Fuxin reader, Baidu network disk, and can cope with the vast majority of work scenarios.

In addition, Tongxin software has built-in voice assistant, and also released the first self-developed e-mail client that can be used in national CPU and whole machine, which improves the usability and productivity.

Many users on social media said that UOS has been able to replace Windows in daily use. Professional evaluation also shows that the vast majority of users can seamlessly migrate from other systems to UOS with low learning cost.

At present, UOS has accumulated a number of loyal users, with a total installed capacity of more than 1 million units in 2020. Meanwhile, UOS has been shortlisted for centralized government procurement projects of central government organs from 2020 to 21, and its government affairs market share has gradually increased.

Tongxin UOS has also been recognized by experts and scholars. Industry experts said that the UOS of Tongxin has crossed the “usable” threshold, is accelerating towards “easy to use”, and its product competitiveness is constantly improving. It is expected to break the monopoly pattern of the domestic operating system market as soon as possible and make up for the national strategic security weakness. Ni Guangnan, academician of the Chinese Academy of engineering, believes that the UOS of Tongxin “represents the highest level of self-developed operating system in China at present.”.

At the end of December 2020, Tongxin software completed a round of financing of RMB 1.1 billion, with a post investment valuation of RMB 5.9 billion. It plans to land on the science and technology innovation board in the future.

Analysts pointed out that after obtaining the capital blessing, Tongxin software will be able to continuously invest in R & D, product and user expansion, continuously improve product strength, improve user experience, and strive for greater market share.

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In June last year, Wang Jiping, chairman of Tongxin software, said at an event that the company’s ideal is to be “Microsoft of China and Tongxin of the world”.

The reason why Microsoft is powerful lies not only in its R & D ability, but also in its vigorous software and hardware ecology. Without the support of Intel, AMD, Oracle, Adobe and other companies, Microsoft Windows will be a desolation.

In order to realize its vision, Tongxin software also needs to establish a comprehensive and open software and hardware ecology in addition to technology and product innovation.

It’s not easy, but Tongxin software has been doing it.

At present, Tongxin software has set up six R & D centers in China, and three general software and hardware adaptation centers in Beijing, Wuhan and Guangzhou, with more than 1000 sets of equipment and hundreds of professional adaptation support personnel.

In terms of key CPU adaptation, through in-depth cooperation with chip manufacturers such as Loongson, Feiteng, Shenwei, Kunpeng, megacore and haiguang, Tongxin software has been fully compatible with mainstream processor architectures including x86.

In 2020, more than 2500 ecological partners will complete the adaptation of more than 30000 software and hardware products, covering office, social, audio-visual entertainment, development tools, image processing and other categories. In addition, international well-known peripheral manufacturers actively support the ecological construction of UOS, and most popular mainstream models of well-known brands are adapted.

At the end of last year, Tongxin software initiated the establishment of the “concentric ecological alliance”, which attracted more than 200 enterprises including Huawei cloud, Alibaba cloud, Loongson Zhongke and 360 group to join. It will build an innovation ecology around the self-developed operating system and other basic software and hardware, and promote the ecological adaptation of products and the coordinated development of the industrial chain.

By joining hands with upstream and downstream manufacturers, Tongxin software’s circle of friends is growing and its industry influence is constantly improving. The addition of top manufacturers such as Huawei and Ali will also enrich the software and hardware ecology of UOS, better meet the needs of users in different scenarios, further shorten the distance from windows and other systems, and realize localization replacement as soon as possible.

However, it is undeniable that foreign brands still play the leading role in the domestic operating system market, and Huawei Hongmeng, Tongxin UOS and other local products will play the role of challengers for a long time. This “difficult and correct” event will have an important impact on the self-reliance of China’s science and technology industry.

Brand profile: Tongxin software is a Chinese basic software company with the mission of “creating an innovative ecosystem of China’s operating system”, which was jointly established by leading domestic operating system manufacturers in 2019. The company focuses on the R & D and service of basic software such as operating system, and is committed to providing safe, stable, intelligent and easy-to-use operating system products and solutions for users in different industries. Baidu search “Tongxin software” for details.

 


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