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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Asian Giants Developing Windows Alternative

TOKYO -- Japan, China and South Korea have agreed to jointly boost the research and development of software for operating systems other than Microsoft's Windows, a Japanese trade ministry official said Friday.

The project, proposed by Japanese Trade Minister Takeo Hiranuma at a conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Wednesday, is intended to bolster the popularity of Windows' rivals, such as Linux, and boost their share in such markets as digital cameras, mobile phones and car navigation systems.

"The idea is to get existing non-Windows operating systems, such as Linux, to be more broadly used, rather than developing a totally new operating system," ministry official Takashi Kume said.

Kume said development of non Windows-based software would provide users a broader range of software and allow manufacturers a wider choice of platforms in developing electronics and information devices.

The Japanese government has already earmarked 1 billion yen ($85.5 million) for the project and plans to back an open-source software forum to be set up by major Japanese electronics companies, such as Hitachi, Matsushita, NEC and Fujitsu. The three countries will hold talks next week to discuss further details, Kume said.