New China-developed OS takes aim at Android, Windows

The company behind the OS is still looking for hardware partners to use its software

The new COS operating system aims to become popular in China

The new COS operating system aims to become popular in China

Concern about secret US surveillance programs is fueling the development of another homegrown operating system in China, one that promises to offer a more secure alternative to rival OSes such as Android and Windows.

COS, which stands for China Operating System, is just the latest OS to come out from the nation, at a time when Android and Windows are found on most smartphones and PCs in the country. The makers of the software have been vocal in wanting to break the U.S. hold over China's software market.

"The operating system has already risen to become a national security matter," said Shanghai Liantong Network Communications Technology in a statement on its website.

The company, along with the government-linked Chinese Academy of Sciences, is developing COS to work on PCs, smartphones, tablets and TVs. But it may take some time before the OS is designed into an actual product.

On Friday, a Liantong spokespersonb said the company was already working on bringing the OS to a set-top box device. The company is, however, still in talks with vendors of smartphones and PCs, she added.

Details about COS are few, including that the software supports HTML5 and can run over 100,000 apps. Liantong, founded in 2012, was established with support from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In announcing the operating system, the makers of COS said current open source OSes including Android and Ubuntu often contain security flaws. Western operating systems also feature design interfaces that clash with Chinese user habits.

But in stating a need for an independent OS, the makers also pointed to past instances of the U.S. interfering with Chinese tech firms. This has happened with Huawei Technologies, which has faced scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers over its alleged ties with the Chinese government. Alibaba Group has also feuded with Google over the Chinese e-commerce giant's own locally developed mobile OS.

China's previous attempts at making a homegrown OS, however, have not made headway. All the top smartphone makers in China rely heavily on developing Android-based phones. At the same time, Windows remains the dominant OS on PCs used in the nation.

But last year, the Chinese government signaled it is still looking to support a local mobile OS.

Liantong said on its website it will have to win the support of handset makers such as Huawei Technologies, Lenovo and others, along with China's mobile carriers, to develop an ecosystem around its OS. The company added that accomplishing this will be a long and difficult journey.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileMicrosoftGoogleMobile OSesAndroid OS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?