Current Situation of Desktop OSS Promotion and Proposal in China CSIP 2007-10 Current Situation of Desktop OSS Promotion and Proposal in China 1. The current situation of OSS in China Progress of OSS in China 1.1 The current state of development China has achieved great achievements in the desktop operation system. The configuration management and interface customization related to desktop operating system has made great progress. In recent years, the growth of demotic OSS development is higher than the international average development level. According to the "CCID" statistics, in 2004 China's Linux sales growth was 45%, which is higher than the global sales growth of 34% in the same period. China has five major Linux Enterprise now, which have enterprising spirit. They have developed and launched a number of perfect Linux products in past few years, and market share has been increasing year and year. They beat their foreign counterparts in some large orders. In 2004, China's Linux software market sales reached 96.444 million RMB, up 44.8%. Linux industries gradually become more mature and Linux market becomes more rational. The process of standardization is promoted by the Linux industry alliance. The Linux operating system market share has grew from 1.7% in 2003 to 2.2% in 2004. Its influence has been enhanced. With government support, Linux software achieves great breakthroughs. Our government has continuously increased the supporting to OSS technology research including Linux operating system and application software during "tenth five years plans”. Through Electronic Information Industry Development Fund, The Ministry of Information Industry support the research and development of key projects, including server, desktop and embedded Linux operating system, office software and application software based on e-government. Great breakthroughs have been achieved in research and development and industrialization of Linux software products. Lots of domestic enterprises have achieved success, such as Red Flag Linux, NeoShine Linux, Co-create Linux, Turbo Linux, Kingsoft WPS Office, Yongzhong Office, RedOffice and other cross-platform office software. It has greatly enriched China's Linux software products market. These products have been also popularized in e-government and other important fields. Furthermore, domestic Linux manufacturers cooperate with other IT vendors to constantly improve their own product line. Currently, independent innovation and the revitalization of the software industry have been quite successful. Linux operating system based on OSS has been adopted in the server field and been began to implement in desktop field. Recently, National Defense University of Science and Technology has launched "unicorn" server operating system which is compliant with Linux and used for application of information security. It integrates private intellectual property software with kinds of OSS licenses. China has carried out international OSS cooperation actively. On July 22, 2004, China OSS Promotion Union was formally established. Accordingly, Japan and Korea also established the corresponding organizations. The purpose of China OSS Promotion Union is to promote China OSS development and implement, to promote the exchange and collaboration of Northeast Asian OSS, to contribute to OSS community by concentration of China OSS strength. 1.2 The problems FOSS doesn’t mean free in charge Free software is not free software and the successful development of OSS needs business model to support. OSS and independent innovation People often misunderstand the development of OSS. They think that all the technologies are public only if all the source codes of every model are public. The so-called innovation technology is open technology collaborated and developed by volunteers all over the world. They are against private technology and independent intellectual property and think that OSS is collaborated and innovated in total open condition. According to these reason, they think OSS doesn’t exist and doesn’t need independent innovation. In the past, some domestic enterprises have not shake off the mentality misunderstanding in OSS. What they have done is freedom downloading or imitating other public OSS from internet, and then making some modifications or patches. For the success technology, they not only failed to grasp the core technology, but also failed to make independent innovation, which result in poor quality in their products. In fact, OSS technology is generally composed of two parts, open technology and private engineering technology which is composed of system optimization, configuration integration and engineering experiences. OSS innovation is not only reflected in the open source code, but also in engineering implement which is not related to open source. Thus, OSS innovation model should combine completely open "collective development", "collaborative innovation" with not open, “independent development”, “independent innovation” with independent intellectual property. For OSS independent innovation, the first purpose is design and development of new software based on OSS, the second purpose is promotion of products’ stability and optimization which mainly focus products’ stability, computational efficiency and flexibility expandability. Two mechanisms of OSS development: community and enterprise OSS is mainly promoted by community development in an early stage. But in the commercial implement process, further maturity of OSS will be affected without enterprise development mechanism introduced. In order to strengthen the OSS development, complementary mechanism of community and enterprise development should be constructed for the development mechanism. Community development mechanism is to innovate, and enterprise development mechanism is for the stability which is needed by engineering and industrialization. According to Microsoft's statistics, in the bugs existed in some famous OSS, 75% are found and corrected by enterprises, and 25% by open source community. According to international OSS community’s statistics, in the OSS features, 70% are developed by communities and 30% by enterprises. These statistics show that it is very important for communities and enterprises to communicate, supporting and complement with each other. OSS is not only Linux, but also the complete industry chain FOSS has almost 30 years’ development history, and has experienced 5 stages, that is open source games in early age, development tools and compiling tools, operating system, middleware and database system and application software. According to the OSS development history, OSS has already constructed a complete chain of the software industry. So, to participate and support OSS, beside operating system, there are lots of other choices. Small businesses, or bigger, stronger and sustainable development With the rise of OSS movement, enterprises can quickly customize or develop software based on OSS in the short term. There are two trends. One is that OSS is directly downloaded, modified, customized, packaged and sell. It is the small business that can benefit in the short term but not good for China software industry. Another trend is that, based on OSS, study and digests information, resources and technology taken by the source codes, and develops OSS in deep level, so as to achieve technology breakthrough and innovation and will make software enterprises bigger and stronger, eventually realize the software industry continued development in China. Domestic and international cooperation The most notable feature of OSS is “open”. From the perspective of development, OSS can lead progress and breakthrough to maximize based on the existing basis. Therefore, compared to OSS development trend, it is not harmony that self-development in a closed environment, it is easy to result in duplication work on low level. So the development of OSS needs to establish a development model that domestic joint and international cooperation. It can also promote the combination of OSS and China software industry. Current situation of OSS technology in China (Japan/Korea) 1) Lack of development work 2) Can’t been involved into international open-source project 3) Short of skillful developer Current situation of OSS application and main business models in China (Japan/Korea) OSS has got great support by Chinese government after Linux entered China in 1998. As a delegate of OSS, Linux brings a direct benefit that it has greatly promoted Chinese software technology in short time. OSS can also help to protect national security in key industries. So OSS has been written in national software policy. But the industrialization of OSS needs to be completed by manufacturer. Without a good business model, OSS could only remain at a very preliminary stage. In recent years, China has tried and explores a lot in OSS business model. Currently, profit is achieved mainly through service, hardware, integration and segmentation version (divided into free version and charge version). OSS has achieved great success in outstanding enterprises and successful cases abroad, while in China it is still very difficult. In foreign countries, the scarcity of technical staff and the high cost make OSS extremely useful. On the contrary, China's more technical staff and lower development cost reduce the demand of OSS, which make China's OSS survival pressure increased. Overall, China's OSS is still very fragile, the business model is still immature, the goals still have a long way to realized. 2. Status of OSS-based desktop application Summaries Problems in OSS desktop development and application in China (Japan/Korea) 1) Compatibilities of application are inadequate 2) Lack of hardware manufacturers’ support 3) Users need training Negative effects of Linux operating system's multi-vendor, multi-standard and multi-version situation The operating system is the basis of e-government system. But in view of the multi-vendor and multi-version situation which is determined by the characteristics of Linux, the development of application system providers has become difficult and complicated, the operation of users has also become very inconvenient. Problems derived from the operating system include: 1) The disunity of APIs between Linux products increases the difficult of application software development and reduces the portability of application software; 2) In these operating systems, there are some problems in the Chinese code, Chinese input method, and printouts and so on. These problems result in obstacles when exchanging documents, less compatibility of input method software and inconsistent font or no font when printing; 3) The configuration, performance and technical standard of Linux operating systems are inconsistent and poor available; 4) Different user interface styles and inconsistent method of operation increase the difficulty and cost of usage; 5) Linux application software, particularly the office suite, is still on a small scale. The scope of choice is small; 6) Lack of device drivers which should been provided by hardware vendors. Domestic software and hardware products are difficult to coordinate with In China, the e-government basic platform, entirely based on domestic hardware and software products, is still in its early stage of development. It has become a major obstacle of development of domestic e-government system that there is no unified standard, no mature business model and less compatibility between the domestic hardware and software products. The projects need to coordinate with include: 1) Adaptation between server hardware and the Linux operating system; 2) Adaptation between server hardware and the Linux operating system; 3) Interconnection between domestic middleware and database. Difficult to integrate with existing e-government systems With the recent years’ development, many government units and some industries have built some e-government systems. Because the technologies and standards they used are mostly based on Windows system, which are not as same as Linux platform, the integration with existing system will be difficult. Applicability analysis and research of OSS-based Solution in e-Gov Cost of acceptance to OSS in China—benefit analysis Main potential risks of OSS for China ） （ 1）Linux applications have some hidden problems unresolved, foundation of native e-government is not solid With the technology application of Linux operating system and J2EE technology framework increasingly mature, Linux is showing a good momentum of development. It’s correct that "cross-platform", "native", "industrialization" are regarded as the basic strategy of China's software industry's development. However, we should pay close attention to the limitations of the Linux platform and its applications. Otherwise, the foundation of native e-government will be shaken. Linux security risks still exist The implementation of e-government and e-business, the defense of country's "electronic airspace", all these reliant on secure computing environments. Generally, secure computing environment includes two aspects: One is security of software and hardware; the other is whether the key products and technologies possess independent intellectual property rights, which is considered from the national security point of view. For China's computer application in practical terms, both of these problems are related to the open-source Linux system. Build secure computing environment with independent intellectual property rights is an important goal of Linux industry development in China, as well as opportunities. From the technology point of view, the secure computing environment firstly needs secure operating system, so currently domestic research focused on the development of the secure Linux operating system. The security issues existed in the current GNU/Linux includes the following: 1) Access control is not perfect, and the super user has excessive privileges In the existing GNU/Linux system, if the user ID is "0", he can implement many system management operations, such as module loading/unloading, path setting, firewall rules setting and so on. Therefore, if the intruder gets the super user privileges, he could do whatever he wanted. 2) File systems are not effectively protected The Linux system has a lot of important documents, such as /bin/login. If hackers access to the system, he can amend the login program and replace the original /bin/login. When he logged in again, he would not need any account number and password. This is known as a "Trojan horse". 3) Lack of process protection Process provides various services. For example, HTTPD is a Web server, which provides web content services for remote client. So in a Web server system, it's very important to protect the process from illegal interruption. But if the intruder gets the super user privileges, we can do nothing to help. In addition, the insecurity factors existing in GNU/Linux include applications with too many flaws and unreliable authentication system. Users lack the confidence for e-government applications running on the Linux OS platform Although Windows systems are popular in all field, but the limitations of its openness, security and share are being gradually exposed. As an open OS, Linux is arising from the unique feature which is paid attention to people, and is supported by so many users. A lot of applications based on the Linux have been used deeply in many fields such as the desktop, servers, e-government and other fields, which are developing toward openness, compatibility, security direction. From another way, though Linux OS and related applications have gotten support by the relevant government departments, but users is still insufficient confidence to use applications (including e-government) running on these Linux OS platform, so it affects the development of the relevant market and hinders the development of the relevant industries of Linux. On the using level, the major worry for users: 1) Worry about the system features, effectiveness, stability, compatibility, ease and so on arise from the above six issues; 2) The applications are used difficultly with other products related, and the small scope chosen; 3) The issues of compatibility with the current system and equipment, such as, the issue of exchanging the data between programs running on the Linux with programs running on traditional Windows platform or other platform; 4) Before the products (system) are putted into the markets without the authority of the survey, it is difficult to ensure the quality of some products; 5) The products are famous poorly, while there are lack of the similar products to compare with it. ） （ 2） The irrational structure leads to the whole advantages to play difficultly The product structure is not reasonable and it can not meet with needs of diversification Selection for users China is a large country, regional differences, economic level, investment capacity, application demand appeared quite different. In view of e-government applications environmental requirements and user different requirements of e-government products, it should show reasonable structure for different user needs with personalized selection. E-government should promote a fair competition and an open selection mechanism. When the government builds e-government system, they should consider not only the selection system products, but also make out along-term plan to consider to replace, upgrade and maintenance costs in the future, as possible as to chose a safe products with a fair competition environment. Therefore, when users make a product Selection, they hope from the hardware, operating system, database software to the office, any one of which vendors and products are readily available alternatives. If they chose the Microsoft products which are not open, not compatible with other hardware or software, unless all costs. But a long time, in kinds of industries and provinces the e-government systems are almost based on the operating systems and systems integration technology which belongs to the same vendor. These practices make drawbacks obvious: Poor opening, more security issues, Weak Cross-platform capability, the high cost of the procurement, implementation and maintenance, also easy to form the isolated islands of information-information systems, and affecting the normal development of e-government seriously. The construction of E-government system quietly depends on a single product type chosen in a narrow range, and the options available of products are limited for low-end users. Therefore, In China the construction of e-government must depend on the government demand-driven, IT vendors are needed to make full preparations in technology, and planning and other areas, and in time following the wave of e-government construction, publishing multi-level products met with the needs of users. Industrial layout is not clear, not reflecting the whole advantage of the e-government industries In the process of the e-government industry development, there are many problems; the nature of the problem is that the industry layout is clear; it will certainly affect the overall e-government industries advantages to perform. The unclear of E-government industrial layout leads to market disorder, and it can not form a reasonable model of competition. The market of IT industry is disordered, because of not forming good order. As the temptation of the huge market prospects of E-government, many hardware vendors, software vendors and systems integrators vendors have quickly packed up their e-government systems supporting products to try their best to occupy the huge e-government market share. However, this competition is disorderly, a vicious, blind. The capacity of many companies often is not enough to supply products and result in cutting apart e-government building quietly. Vicious competition is not good to the form of rational industrial layout (a pinnacle, but also pillar), the whole advantages of e-government industry can not be played, and thereby the entire industry's healthy development is been affected directly. Industrial layout is not clear because the e-government applications has been promote by companies in China, many vendors is still very superficial to the knowledge of e-government. The drawback of this passive promoting mode is that it is difficult to form synergy and reasonable division of labor in early stage of the market, because, for all vendors, each has their own system products and technical standards. Small in size and less high-end products, product system is not complete E-government industry covers many fields widely, from hardware to software, from the system software to the application software, the large number of products, great market demand. But in the view of the results from the survey (see Annex 2), the high-level market was almost occupied by the large foreign companies, and system software and software supporting most of the "high-level software" products are monopolized by foreign vendors. Chinese enterprises are generally small ones, its only has a place in the low-level market, the high-level market is lack of competitive, the product system is not complete, and thereby complete industry chain is also difficult to form. ） （3）The lack of an effective promoting and services mechanism, and the capacity of the industrial chain formed is not enough Application support is weak; an effective e-government industrial chain has been not formed E-government industrial chain is based on the Linux platform in China. The entire Linux industry environment is composed of three parts: desktop Linux industry chain and the industrial chain of Linux servers, embedded Linux industry chain, and three industrial chains form the Linux industry environment. Including the chip manufacturers, hardware manufacturers, Linux software vendors, ISVs (solution partners), SI (system integrator), they all plays an important role in the ecological environment. E-government system as an integrated system, it is impossible to develop independently, and database companies, business application software company, middleware vendors, end users and so on ,are needed to be integrated together well and it needs the government, media, software and hardware vendor to support. The industry chain is including computer hardware and the Linux operating system, basic software and application software. Linux OS: as the core of industrial chain, the development of Linux is impressive in the past 1-2 years. By years the development of the native Linux, from the beginning focused on the surface to dealing with concrete matters gradually. They constantly improve their products, while paying attentions to making users accept Linux OS gradually through training etc, and through the close cooperation with others on the same industrial chain to jointly promote native e-government applications. Government support: As the Chief Information System, the government's support is the most important. The development of Linux has gotten much strong support from government in China. By the end of 2001, software procurement of Beijing Municipal government purchase the Linux platform, using the Linux firstly in government department. By the end of 2002, the Ministry of Information Industry and Ministry of Science and Technology co-sponsored the “the seminar of Linux software and applications". In February 2003, the National Informatization Office held the meeting with nine ministries in order to implement the “Action Outline of the Promoting software industry" (47). Under the guidance of the outline, the relevant documents will be gradually published, the government will fix the support to Linux in the specific policies to implement and regularize gradually in China. Hardware support: Native e-government system is based on the hardware environment, Development and growth of it certainly depends on the support of hardware manufacturers strongly. IBM is one of the vendors which support best the development of Linux, its complete line of software and hardware products support Linux, which has also been actively cooperating with the government and to promote the relevant applications. Major objectives of IBM Linux Solutions Center established in China include: support Beijing municipal government to promote open software products and application solutions based on Linux; Support and help application development based on Linux in e-government, and testing and transplanting and training in the field; Researching the strategies and methods of Linux industry development in China. On May 1999, Intel, HP, SGI, VA Linux and IBM initiated a coalition plan for Intel Titanium Processor family and Linux. The purpose of this project is to establish a Linux interface for Titanium architecture that will provide Linux for Titanium support and its performance optimizing. Presently, Redflag Linux Inc. was granted the authentication by Intel, and became a supporting vendor of Intel Titanium Processor 2 series. At the same time, it was granted by Intel as one of Linux vendors supporting super thread technology. HP, Dawning, AMD and many other companies have release their productions supporting Linux. Software support: Including middleware, database system, OA system and EGOV system, which are provided by SI and ISV. According to a research report of Forrester, a research company, in the listed reasons by reviewers, why they don’t deploy Linux yet, 46% of the receivers think that the big problem is no good support. But, with more and more support of Linux from enterprise software companies, the problem will be resolved. Some main database companies, such as Oracle, Sybase and IBM, are transplanting their productions to Linux. Oracle also joints Redflag into strategic partnership, the result of partnership is the most Chinese customers can deploy Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux architecture on Redflag Linux platform. It will also promote the partner venders on technology and finance, then encourage the ISV’s application development on Oracle Linux Software architecture. CA is one of venders that support Linux. Not only it productions supporting Linux, but it also seeks more partners to promote the development of Linux industry. BEA declared it would fully support Linux on Oct, 2002. PeopleSoft collaborating with IBM released its enterprise solution based on Linux this year. Borland Inc. brought us its Kylix for Linux development … … The effective ways to decrease cost of industry chain is establishing, improving and extension of industry chain and internal balanced development. Currently, our native EGOV industry chain is not effectively formed yet. It is not clear for all kinds of providers that what point in chain they can create value on for them. They also don’t form a effective industry division. Application supports are insufficient in the chain, and it is a critical point in the whole chain. Presently, ISV and SI supporting Linux are already lacking, their productions based on Linux already haven’t been able to use widely. Due to ISV and SI link customs directly, so they will have important influence in promotion of the native EGOV. Of course, with more and more supports for Linux, more ISV and SI will see the potential development of Linux and begin to seek cooperation with Linux venders. They will provide customs better application system, including EGOV system, at the same time, via Linux; they can decrease the cost of their own. Lack of effective mechanism for promoting service, no effective motivation In normal market environment, allocation of resources is spontaneous and need cost. Industry chain is a procedure that is established naturally, each point of the chain must depend on each other, same as the native EGOV. In recent years, the development of our native EGOV is driven by market. But we also realize market is not a only motivation on form and development of the industry chain, it is a long procedure. From the condition of our native EGOV, we can see that it is not enough to sustain the fast development of the industry chain if only depend on power of market. From construction factors of the industry chain, government support is very important, and has irreplaceable influence. The native EGOV industry chain should be developed to have a core of applications; all points of chain should cooperate with each other. So, from government’s promotion mechanism, we must resolve these following problems, and improve integrity of the industry chain: 1) Lack of high level experience platform. It will impact the development of high quality productions. In our country, most EGOV-related companies, especially some companies who develop productions owning intellectual property right, have some problems, such as smaller scale of business, low capability for research, out-of-date for developing and testing platform. So it is difficult to improve their research capability and develop high level and high quality productions that will upgrade effectively their competition. So providing high level developing and testing platform will not only resolve these companies’ problem, but also establish a technology and information sharing service mechanism for related industry chain. 2) Lack of advanced specialist, it is difficult to promote the level of technology for these venders. Lack of advanced specialist is the main handicap for development of venders. Due to finance strength, it is very difficult for most companies to attract and retain those specialists. In spite of the large number of requirement of specialist for native EGOV development, there is no training system for application, management and marketing specialist on Linux industry. So we need establish a national training system through common service mechanism, and establish a development platform for these specialists. 3) Lack of effective intermediary service, requirement of a unimpeded channel for production supply and demand Many companies have concentrate on native EGOV for a long time. They have had some mature ones on basic production and platform production, and that some productions have conspicuous advantages in price and performance than foreign ones. But the acceptability, awareness and market share of these productions is very low. Unimpeded channel of production supply and demand is the biggest barrier. From the reality of our country and EGOV industry in these years, it is not enough to only depend on these companies for establishing a chain of production supply and demand. But our current cooperation allies and promotion allies are very loose and ineffective. We need government to promote establishing of intermediaries who will provide exhibition and trial environment. At the same time it will promote the improvement of productions and development of industry chain. 3. Desktop OSS Promotion Proposal Application proposal 1) Strengthen the building of OSS (particularly Linux) professional developers; 2) Promote OSS based applications in e-government and other industry; 3) Construct a non-profit platform for users and enterprises; 4) Normative related industries chain standards. Technology development proposal 1) Strengthen open source desktop operating system compatibility and user-friendly development, and strive to improve the existing desktop operating system's accessibility; 2) Increase the OSS based applications in network and server; 3) Increase the OSS based applications in embedded system. Business model proposal 1) Free Software + Charges hardware; 2) Free intellectual + Charges books (Training); 3) Free Software + Charges Implementation; 4) Community Version + Charges Version; 5) OSS + Commercial Software; 6) Free Software + Charges Services.