China is backing a mobile operating system designed to offer a state-approved alternative to foreign platforms.
Dubbed China Operating System (COS), the platform is set to launch first on handheld devices, with a possible expansion to other platforms.
According to reports from tech blog Engadget China, COS was designed by developers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences along with private firms. The OS is said to be based on some flavor of the open-source kernel Linux, and is hoped to compete against Android and iOS in the mobile space.
Helping usher in the year of the Linux (gaming) desktop, Valve announced its Steam Machine—which will compete with Xbox One and Playstation 4.
When gaming vendor Valve's co-founder Gabe Newell told the Linuxcon USA conference audience last September that Linux is the future of gaming, he also hinted that his company's future consoles would be Linux-powered.
Like most mainstream operating systems these days, fully patched installations of Linux provide a level of security that requires a fair amount of malicious hacking to overcome. Those assurances can be completely undone by a single unpatched application, as Andre' DiMino has demonstrated when he documented an Ubuntu machine in his lab being converted into a Bitcoin-mining, denial-of-service-spewing, vulnerability-exploiting hostage under the control of attackers.
Microsoft is caught in a monkey-trap, created by cloud computing and Free Software, coupled with short-term thinking and a dose of not-invented-here syndrome.
Symantec has stumbled across a worm that exploits various vulnerabilities in PHP to infect Intel x86-powered Linux devices. The security biz says the malware threatens to compromise home broadband routers and similar equipment.
However, home internet kit with x86 chips are few and far between – most network-connected embedded devices are powered by ARM or MIPS processors – so the threat seems almost non-existent.