The big idea is that it will provide a flexible, open, widely-used and standardised operating system as part of the Chinese government’s glorious five year plan. China is a big fan of open source software and wants to accelerate the growth of the open source ecosystem within China. CSIP, Canonical and the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) have formed the CCN Open Source Innovation Joint Lab in Beijing. The Joint Lab hosts engineers from each organisation who will accelerate the development of a China-focused version of Ubuntu for desktop and cloud.
Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical said that CSIP, Canonical and NUDT share the goal of widespread adoption of high quality Linux on personal devices and in the cloud. The move goes beyond language localisation and includes features and applications that cater for the Chinese market.
Planned are Chinese input methods and calendars, a new weather indicator, and software so that users can quickly search across the most popular Chinese music services. Future releases will include integration with Baidu maps and leading shopping service Taobao, payment processing for Chinese banks, and real-time train and flight information.
It will also use WPS, the most popular office suite in China, and is creating photo editing and system management tools which could be incorporated into other flavours of Ubuntu worldwide.