Mobile software is being adapted for Russian operating systems

Mobile software is being adapted for Russian operating systems


Russian developers of mobile operating systems (OS) are discussing with the Ministry of Digital Development the possibility of introducing a requirement for compatibility with them of all mobile applications that are included in the register of domestic ones. Among the main interests in the market is Rostelecom (OS Aurora). The criteria for the domesticity of the mobile operating systems themselves are just being developed, but there is a risk that Android operating systems will not be recognized as such. Experts fear that as a result, many mobile software developers will find themselves outside the register, deprived of tax benefits and supplies to the public sector.

Kommersant’s sources in the software market reported that mobile OS developers are discussing with the Ministry of Digital Development the possibility of introducing a requirement for mobile software products to be compatible with Russian mobile OSs for inclusion in the register (giving preferences in government procurement and tax breaks). According to one of Kommersant’s interlocutors, Rostelecom, which controls the developer of the Aurora mobile OS, is primarily interested in the initiative. The registry now includes mobile OS Aurora, Astra Mobile, Kaspersky OS, Kvadra OS (Kernel), Red OS M (Red Soft), etc. The last two are developed based on the open source Android (AOSP – Android Open Source Project).

The founder of the Strigo Capital venture fund, Dmitry Komissarov, speaks about the discussion of the initiative. According to him, the first to be released in April are additional requirements for government decree 325 (on the criteria for including software in the domestic register) regarding compatibility with general-system computer operating systems (see Kommersant of August 25, 2023). “As for compatibility with mobile operating systems, meetings with the Ministry of Digital Development on this matter are still ongoing. Most likely, the ministry will identify two or three systems with which it will be necessary to ensure compatibility,” explained Mr. Komissarov. Rostelecom and Red Soft did not answer Kommersant. The Astra and Yadra Groups declined to comment.

The Ministry of Digital Development told Kommersant that the draft resolution, including requirements for software compatibility with two domestic operating systems, has been finalized and is being discussed with the industry. Establishing mobile operating system requirements for products from the software registry “is not currently planned,” the ministry clarified. A Kommersant source familiar with the situation says that first of all, the ministry asked the industry to develop criteria for what a mobile OS is: “Some developers, for example Astra Group of Companies, have an OS that works only on tablets, and have not yet It’s clear whether it can be categorized as mobile.”

At the same time, as Kommersant’s interlocutors tell us, the association of software product developers “Domestic Software” (ARPP) is now discussing with the Ministry of Digital Development the possibility of determining the power of attorney for a mobile OS, including for use in the public sector and at critical information infrastructure facilities. “One of the criteria may be the lack of influence of foreign developers, in which case AOSP systems may be excluded from the registry,” says one of the interlocutors. ARPP declined to comment.

The Russian software registry contains more than 20 thousand products, but how many of them are mobile solutions is unknown. Kommersant’s interlocutor among the developers says that there are 200–300 mobile programs in the registry. “There are few tenders for the purchase of mobile software. Developers include their products in the register to receive tax benefits,” he notes.

The Kommersant source adds that in general, the number of domestic programs for mobile devices is approximately comparable to the number of applications in the domestic application store RuStore (VK). Now there are more than 35 thousand of them.

The head of the board of directors of Basalt SPO, Alexey Smirnov, is convinced that when these requirements are introduced, software products developed only for Android, of which there are quite a lot, may be excluded from the register. “But developers are afraid that adapting programs for the Aurora OS will not pay off,” he emphasized. At the same time, a representative of the Russian developer of video conferencing systems Trukonf believes that supporting Russian operating systems is “an investment in the future of own IT solutions for each individual vendor.” According to him, the company has already ensured compatibility with Astra Mobile and Red OS M, and this year the solution will be released on the Aurora OS.

Timofey Kornev


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