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S. Korea to Unveil Open OS ‘Gureum’ This Month
Korean Operating System
S. Korea to Unveil Open OS ‘Gureum’ This Month
  • By Yoon Yung Sil
  • December 5, 2017, 02:30
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Windows 7, whose extended support is set to end in 2020, takes up 47.6 percent of the local OS market.
Windows 7, whose extended support is set to end in 2020, takes up 47.6 percent of the local OS market.


The result of South Korea’s second open operating system (OS) development project will be unveiled on December 14. It is part of the government’s efforts to get out of the subordination to Microsoft that practically monopolize the domestic computer OS market.

According to related organization sources on December 4, the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) will hold a briefing session on its open OS “Gureum 1.0 version” on December 14. Gureum has been co-developed by the MSIT and the National Security Research Institute (NSRI) under the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) since 2015 to improve the monopolization of Windows.

According to the data on the domestic Internet use environment from the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) in April, Microsoft's Windows OS accounts of 96.99 percent of the domestic computer OS market. Among the Windows versions, Windows 7, whose extended support is set to end in 2020, takes up 47.6 percent of the market. Accordingly, users need to pay money in order to upgrade to the upper version within the validity period. The South Korean government also uses Windows 7, upgrading its version.

Bracing for the situation, the government released the beta version of HamoniKR, the first Linux-based open OS in 2014, through the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) to get out of the dominant-subordinate relationship with Windows and reduce the burden on budgets for licensing. It was planning to use free HamoniKR OS instead of a pay Windows OS to improve the computer systems of public government offices and make it come into general use. However, none of public government offices has not used HamoniKR due to lack of awareness and compatibility with other software.

Therefore, the NSRI addressed the problems of HamoniKR and started the development of Gureum OS with a better security. It is planning to encourage general public government offices to use HamoniKR instead of Windows and other public government offices that require a higher level of security, such as military, prosecution and police, to use Gureum in a bid to lower the reliance on Windows. The NSRI completed the beta test for the current version of Gureum 1.0 with two years of software development and it will make a presentation on the result at the meeting on the 14th. Based on it, it will discuss whether to carry out an open beta test for other organizations and private companies.

An official from the software industry said, “Many countries, including Japan, India and Russia as well as the United States Department of Defense, are scrambling to develop an open OS to get out of the subordinate relationship with the Microsoft Windows. We have high expectations for Gureum, which has a high level of security, unlike HamoniKR, which failed to become widespread owing to a low level of awareness.