It's well known that China is trying to get rid of their dependency of Windows and Android, and it might just be that Ubuntu is the perfect solution for this one-billion-people country.
Canonical's goal is not to overtake Microsoft or its operating system, and the Ubuntu developers are trying to provide a unique experience that doesn't resemble anything in the Windows ecosystem. Nonetheless, Ubuntu has started to be regarded as a good Windows alternative and China might just bet on it.
Only a year ago, Canonical has announced Ubuntu Kylin, an official Ubuntu flavor aimed at the Chinese users. It's an operating system is built specifically for that language and it incorporate a number of feature specific that that particular culture.
Even better, the OS it's being developed with the help of Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which makes this Ubuntu operating system very important.
This is why Canonical's announcement about a new download milestone for Ubuntu Kylin, shortly before Microsoft pulling support for Windows XP, seems to set the stage for something bigger.
“Its popularity has built quickly with 400,000 downloads after its first release in April 2013 and a rise to over 1,300,000 new downloads after its second release in October. That’s impressive for a downloadable operating system since most consumers in China, the world’s largest PC market, as in other markets prefer to get their OS pre-installed when they buy a device.”
“The attraction of Ubuntu Kylin is its optimisation to the needs of Chinese users. It features full Chinese user interface and bespoke Chinese applications and integration such as Chinese music search from Baidu in the dash, Chinese lunar calendar, weather plugins and Kingsoft WPS, the most popular suite of office software in China.”
Also, according to a report on theregister.co.uk, the Red Flag Linux distribution developed by the Chinese government has lost all support and its development has stopped.
Whether Ubuntu Kylin will have a major impact in China remains to be seen, but with the help of the government it might just become a powerful Windows rival.