China Ubuntu

Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu have announced that they will be officially affiliated with the Chinese government to bring a new Ubuntu based OS to the Chinese population.

In a recent blog post on the Canonical blog, they went on to explain that Ubuntu Kylin (the official name of the new OS) will go way beyond just a version of Ubuntu with Chinese language packs installed. The blog post went on to say:

“Ubuntu Kylin goes beyond language localisation and includes features and applications that cater for the Chinese market. In the 13.04 release, Chinese input methods and Chinese calendars are supported, there is a new weather indicator, and users can quickly search across the most popular Chinese music services from the Dash.”

It doesn’t stop there

This isn’t just a one off release, it’s going to be a completely separate version of Ubuntu that is designed specifically for the Chinese market. Much like Kubuntu, or Xubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin will have on going development separate from the core Ubuntu build. The blog post goes on to say…

“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.

The Ubuntu Kylin team is cooperating with 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.”

This is a very big move for Canonical and Ubuntu as a whole. We all know how huge China are, and for the Chinese government to push an official Ubuntu build onto the population can be nothing less than an amazing bonus for the Linux world.

What do you guys think? Is this a good move, or yet another way of the Ubuntu development team to be spread more thinly? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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