China to build own version of Windows 98

China has kicked off a development programme intended to produce a home-grown operating system with equivalent functionality to Windows 98, and with compatibility with Office 2000 and Word, reports The People's Daily this morning.

The plan is to break the "monopoly of foreign office software," which we believe may be code for 'Microsoft,' and to this end the Beijing IT Industry Promotion Center announced two initiatives, "Yangfan" and "Qihang," intended to produce a Win98 level OS within a year.

18 companies and universities are worknig on them, and Yangfan 1.0 is already being deployed in government departments.

Win98 may seem like old news, but it's still useful for older, lower spec and cheaper machines. And if China did happen to produce an equivalent that had somewhat less bolloxed memory management, The Reg might even be up for a couple of licences.

The exact (or indeed even the approximate) nature of the software is however unclear.

News source: The Reg

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