The Chinese Windows was just a rain forest wind

Things like this are easy to do, they're easily discovered, and (assuming there is a legal violation here) easy to close down.

Do you want Windows XP, can't afford it, but don't want to pirate it?

Then you want Ylmf, a version of Ubuntu Linux with the XP interface tacked-on, and Wine added so you can run Windows programs.

Google translates the name Ylmf as Rain Forest Wind, which may be the most creative piece of today's story. This is a bit like a gust of wind in a rain forest -- ephemeral, strange, but of little real moment.

So what are we to make of Rain Forest Wind?

You can see this as good news. Geek.com says it's getting harder to run a pirated Windows in China.

You can see this as bad news. Softpedia calls the new software willful infringement of Microsoft's user interface copyrights.

Or you can see this as no news at all. Linux Insider notes that Ylmf emerged just a few weeks after Phrank Waldorf posted a similar hack. It's very possible some Cantonese entrepreneur just translated some commands on the software Waldorf himself said he didn't recommend, calling it a script written as a programming exercise.

What this story tells me is that the entrepreneurial search for a quick buck remains alive on the Chinese mainland.

There were many Americans back in the 1980s anxious to clone a user interface, stick their name on it and try to download a few bucks from the wallets of the unsuspecting. If this "author" can scam just one small manufacturer with an "OEM deal," he's going to be a happy bunny.

But this story also illustrates something important about the Internet that gave birth to open source. Things like this are easy to do, they're easily discovered, and (assuming there is a legal violation here) easy to close down.

If our Chinese friend's mark has Internet access, and I'm assuming he does, and if he has more than two brain cells to rub together, and I'm assuming he does, then he won't be taken in by this scam.

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