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Thursday, January 27, 2005

China's IT Market Pull

We recently covered about the spectacular growth of china and also covered Om Malik's famous line - "The axis of technology has shifted somewhere to South china sea". It is obvious,The size of the china market is a major pull says this article.The sale of IBM's PC division to Chinese giant Lenovo was not the only sign of an ominous shift of the IT industry's centre of gravity towards the emerging economic superpower and its neighbours. Networking giant Cisco, blaming increasing competition from asian manufacturers, announced that it is to move from selling individual devices to becoming a systems provider providing solutions rather than products. This will put it into direct competition with IBM, whose China deal reflects a similar shift. The software industry, itself moving towards providing services rather than products, is also feeling the eastern wind of change. Palmsource, the software spin-off from Palm, announced that it is buying China Mobilesoft , a developer of software for mobile phones. The deal gives Palmsource an entry into the Chinese market; but more significantly from the West's point of view, the company also announced that it is to implement the PalmOS interface, its biggest asset, on the Linux operating system.
China is already a big Linux user and may provide a critical mass of applications and users that could make open source a major player in the mobile and desktop markets
. Microsoft meanwhile faces a separate threat from clones of its Office products. A Chinese company called Evermore launched what it called an advanced English-language edition of its Evermore Integrated Office (EIS) into the US, Japanese and Chinese markets.written in Java, this runs under both Windows and Linux and claims to be more tightly integrated than the Microsoft product. The spreadsheet, word processing, and business-graphics functions are accessible from a single module rather than being separate programs; and linked data is more easily synchronised in EIS than Office - changes to a spreadsheet, say, can easily be reflected in a table in a word processor document. EIS can also create pdf files natively, whereas in Microsoft Office they require a plug-in. Sometime back the west was worried that china may be pursuing its own standards in communications including mobile technology, chip standards and in emerging technologies like RFID. Now signs of this getting repeated in the software product market as well.The size of the market, the fast growth and the determination to exhibit might makes the difference.

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