NeoKylin, a Linux OS which looks like Windows XP is now China’s “Official” OS

NeoKylin is Linux based OS that China built to look like Windows XP

China has developed an operating system “NeoKylin”, a Linux based OS for its users as a replacement to long used Windows XP.

Ever since Microsoft announced that it will no longer provide official support and resources for Windows XP, a majority of Chinese PC users were left in a quandary as majority was using XP in their systems.

To cope up, Chinese engineers have come up with a solution named NeoKylin. NeoKylin operating system is developed by China Standard Software, Shanghai. The OS has UI similar to that of Windows XP while having Linux at its core.

According to Quartz, which got its hands on the latest “community version” of NeoKylin 6.0, over 40 percent of commercial PCs sold by Dell in China are running the nascent OS.

While Quartz notes that the community version of the OS isn’t identical to the version shipping on Dell’s computers, it does give curious users a good insight into what the OS is like. The user interface looks almost identical to XP’s, including the familiar minimise, maximise and close window controls, as well as folder icons and the start button. There are even icons for My Computer, My Documents, Recycle Bin, and Control Panel.

Underneath that skin is a Linux core, which Quartz theorizes could be a version of Fedora, thanks to the inclusion of a Yum package-management utility and similar install screens. The site also notes that NeoKylin isn’t particularly user-friendly, and the OS blocked its attempts to install Linux version of Google Chrome, amongst others.

Instead, users will have to use Mozilla’s Firefox to browse web in NeoKylin. There’s also a music player, the open-source image editor GIMP, and Linux alternatives for Windows games like Minesweeper.

Productivity is handled by the NeoShine office suite, also developed by China Standard Software, which offers alternatives to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, complete with eerily similar icons.

While the community version of NeoKylin defaults to its XP-like mode, Quartz notes that there is a more modern alternative visual option, one that the Dell version of the OS is more likely to ship with.

The OS seems to have got success in its attempt of creating some sort of familiarity amongst potential users. But its success rate may not be as high as that of Windows XP, even after the fact that Dell will be helping them.

Here is a review video from Quartz.

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Abhishek Awasthi
Abhishek Awasthi
Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection -Mark Twain.


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