Kremlin OS on radar for apple, Google
Russia is striving to reduce US technological dominance. A proprietary mobile operating system is being developed in the country with the aim of undercutting the market position of both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android on the Russian market. The objective of the Russian government was revealed by Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov.
The new mobile OS is to emerge from a partnership between Russia and Finnish company Jolla, a firm founded by ex-Nokia employees. The future Russian platform is to be based on Jolla’s mobile OS Sailfish, an open-source technology. Nikiforov also stated that the other BRICS countries (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) were to join the project at a later date.
According to information provided by Nikiforov to Russian financial daily RBC, the new OS will aim to acquire at least a 50-percent share of the Russian market by 2025. Analysts at American IT and research and advisory firm Gartner said the Russian market is currently dominated by Android (market share: 81 percent) followed by iOS (market share: 15 percent).
Sailfish has so far taken a meagre 0.5 percent market share, less than Windows Phone or BlackBerry (which together account for 3.5 percent). As UK daily The Guardian has pointed out, the Russian technology sector is also endeavouring to go it alone on the hardware side.
Russia’s MCST processor company, which has been manufacturing central processing units (CPUs) since 1992, recently presented its Elbrus-4C computer. However, according to the Ars Technica (Latin for Art of Technology] news and information website, the system lags Western technologies by several years.
This is not the first time that the Russian state has created and got behind competition to US software. The Moscow government approved a prototype Russian rival to the Windows OS in 2010, only to abandon the project two years later.
Other countries are also trying to limit the influence of US businesses, citing security reasons. For instance, Cuba and North Korea have made attempts at developing proprietary Linux-based software, producing the Nova and Red Star operating systems, respectively.