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India's government may foster home-grown mobile OS

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OS

India's minister of state for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has revealed the nation's government intends to develop a policy that will encourage development of an "indigenous mobile operating system".

Speaking at the launch of a policy vision for Indian tech manufacturing, Chandrasekhar said India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology believes the market could benefit from an alternative to Android and iOS and could "even create a new handset operating system" to improve competition, according to the Press Trust of India.

"We are talking to people. We are looking at a policy for that," Chandrasekhar told local media, adding that start-ups and academia are being considered as likely sources of talent and expertise to build the OS.

"If there is some real capability then we will be very much interested in developing that area because that will create an alternative to iOS and Android which then an Indian brand can grow,” he added.

The minister offered no timeframe for a decision on whether to proceed with the policy, nor the level of assistance India's government might provide.

Nor did he say much to suggest he knows that past attempts to create alternative mobile operating systems, or national operating systems, have cratered.

Even Microsoft, famously, failed to make an impact with Windows Phone despite throwing billions at the OS and acquiring Nokia to ensure supply of handsets to run it. Mozilla's Firefox OS was discontinued after efforts to crack India's mobile market with low-cost devices failed. The Linux Foundation's Tizen hasn't found a lot of love.

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GSMArena coverage

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