With Microsoft cranking up its effort to reduce the use of pirated Windows operating systems in China, a group of Chinese software pirates have developed a new operating system called Ylmf OS which essentially is a customised version of Ubuntu Linux with a Windows XP style user interface and is capable of running many Windows XP based programs.
Interestingly, the Chinese home page of the Windows XP doppelganger, when translated by Google, reveals that Ylmf mean ‘Rain forest wind’ in English.
The website also describes Ylmf as "a fine imitation of the classic Windows theme" and then goes on to list several features to be found in the OS, like an integrated Compiz Config Effects Settings Manager, SMPlayer for watching videos, FileZilla FTP client, Pidgin instant messenger and even Firefox web browser for faster web browsing.
Predictably, Microsoft is not very happy with the Ylmf OS as it clearly comes across an infringement of its user interface copyright.
Many industry experts believe that Microsoft’s strict anti-piracy policy in Chinese operating system market has prompted Chinese pirates to imitate the user interface of the software giant’s operating system. However it still does not clear them of possible lawsuits related to copyright violations from Microsoft.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We're not sure that Microsoft will be very happy about it at all and with good reason. That said, there have been a number of Linux distributions - amongst them WinLinux - that tried to mimic Windows XP look and feel.