The far east takes on Microsoft

Open Source Windows replacement, MPEG coming out of the East
By Faultline
Posted: 10/09/2003 at 09:26 GMT

The Japan news daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun last week revealed that China, Japan, and Korea are planning to jointly develop a new open-source operating system aimed at replacing Microsoft’s Windows, something that the Linux community has been trying to do for years. Given that most of the major Japanese firms feel enslaved in their PC efforts by Windows and that the Japanese electronics firms have virtually pledged their future to some form of embedded Linux, it is likely that the outcome will be Linux derived.

Specifics of the deal will be hammered in private by the end of 2003 after initial discussions began back in March when an inaugural meeting was attended by more than 100 software engineers from the three countries.

Perhaps significantly the Far Eastern Bloc can do what no anti-trust suit has so far managed and re-introduce innovation at the PC level, where constant bundling activities by Microsoft have held it at bay. Japanese electronics firms such as Matsushita, Sony and Toshiba are used to establishing standards that leave a level playing field, and lets them build their own product differentiation at a higher level.

The operating systems, once built will eventually expand into the Asia Pacific. China has the power one day, as an emerging economy, to double the size of the PC marketplace, and if it were to tamely endorsed Windows it would have doubled Microsoft’s size. If it can use this market power to introduce a new system, it could potentially destabilize the Microsoft operating system outside, as well as inside, the Far East, although it is likely to take time, perhaps as long as 8 to 10 years to affect the West. In the meantime China, Korea and Japan will almost certainly have to weather various US government and GATT sanctions if they see through this threat.

This move is typical behavior for a major economic power that has been left behind.

China surprised the wireless industry three years ago by picking an alternative Mobile phone standard for third-generation phones, TDS-CDMA. Now that it has taken the global pole position in terms of both making televisions and buying televisions, it wants to come out with its own digital TV formats and video standards for DVD players and video-game platforms.

Another place where, according to a piece in this week’s Wall Street Journal, China is set to make a move, is in its acceptance of MPEG video compression. China doesn’t see why it has to pay royalties on a standard that was built before China could contribute to the process. The Journal pointed out that Chinese DVD-player makers pay between $3.50 and $5 a machine to the Japanese and European firms that own video patents, for access to the MPEG technology that compresses the DVDs. A Beijing group has put forward the Audio Video Coding Standard (AVS) which should be completed by the end of 2003, with products shortly afterwards.

The Beijing-based Audio-Video Coding Standard, or AVS, group aims to publish a standard by the end of the year that will compete with MPEG 4, engineers in China began working on it a year ago after realizing that the new MPEG 4 H.264 encoding would also be created without their help and looks likely to stay as the compression standard for the next decade. Given noises made by Japanese manufacturers of phones last year over the usage based royalty scheme suggested for MPEG, where they said that they may not use it, the Chinese codec is likely to find a willing market in Japan as well.

Faultline Opinion
We think that the Windows alternative is highly feasible. No-one in the history of the planet has established a permanent monopoly with something that it relatively easy to build. China probably only needs to put 500 to 1000 people on a project of that type for two years or so, and it has the political weight to mandate its use internally.

However, outside of China, in Japan for instance, such an effort will meet stiff resistance from habit users and from simple economic forces. All the effort needs to be around a single initiative for it to be successful and the Open Source model is focused on Linux. Where would all the applications come from for this new format?

Codecs are two a penny though and are often built by teams of three or four mathematicians. It is likely that there will be more codec experience in the West where MEPG 4 has many competitors, including Microsoft.

Copyright © 2003, Rethink Research

I’m hoping that the west can get envoulve with this, hopefully asia would do a better job with the Linux systom.

Goes to show why I post such BS in the first place, I bring them good news and nothing.

I think a new system have only succes when software which is made for windows and linux, can still run on that one. I think when they develope such system it can be a great succes. :smiley: But they must defently dev one which doesn’t crash, giving error, or suddenly will shut down or such things.

You so cute

JD-multi, you’ve just described linux :smiley:

fun news, but i don’t know why they have to do another open-source OS from scratch? …in europe the trend with governments goes towards getting linux and making the best out of it …and untill now they’re VERY happy about it …well, you know, there’s always someone who has to piss against the wind …but i still hope they’ll make it good :stuck_out_tongue:

I never used linux, but I will do this to run my upcoming Blended Reality server with apache, and MY SQL. But is it possible to run software which is created for windows, on Linux? I don’t know anything about Linux, but soon I will. :smiley:

I’m sure there’s are allot of things that will be done that will make it much better. Besides, the advantage of having it done in the far east is that’s where most hardware is made, there will be a far more compatable hardware on the market as well as improve performence. I’m sure there will be an increase of graphic and media software and alot cleaner codes as well.

i agree a bit with you there …but just a bit on the hw side and maybe, just maybe on the cleanliness of the code side …but IMO that’s still not as fixed and nice as it sounds …i’ve read about (ideas on) this project a year ago, and AFAIR, they said that they’ll run it on their own Dragon processors …which shouldn’t be compatible with x86 (or PPC…) …so, i think they’ll cover their needs and not look at others’ needs …that’s what i think

through win* emulation :smiley:

What’s a dragon processor, is that a SGI product ? If it’s not going to be compatable like Gentoos is then I would expect it not to succead. If they are ever to make the systom compatable, it’s all more reasion to get the west envolve, perhaps there could be an agreedment to quicken the development ?

Yes, you can run Windows programs under linux, but not all programs are written the same way so the dificulty level varies.

Some programs runs like a charm, other requieres some trickying, other only run partially and a few doesn’t run at all. For example, if you run MS Office under Linux Word, Excell and the other will work, but Access will give you a hard time and Outlook won’t work :frowning: .

Go to to see how specific Windows programs behave under Linux.

By the way, almost for every windows program there is a linux program that can do the same… and usually does it better.

For example: OpenOffice is IMO better than MicroSoft Office in every single aspect. Produces smaller files, the assistants are more ¨intelligent¨, the options are better grouped, etc. etc. etc.