North Korea has upgraded the Red Star OS computer operating system it uses in computers found in schools and libraries to mimic Apple’s Mac OS X, BBC News reports, a departure from the previous Windows-like Red Star OS version. Screenshots showing the revamped Red Star OS interface have been obtained from an American computer scientist, who purchased the Linux-based software in the region and posted on NorthKoreaTech.
The OS X-like Red Star OS was apparently released in mid-2013, and it’s reportedly filled with government propaganda such as the calendar of the operating system, which shows 103 as the year instead of 2014 — or, “the number of years since the birth of former North Korean leader Kim Il-song.”
It’s not clear why the North Korean government would shift Red Star OS development to a more OS X-like user interface. BBC News says that many people have access to technology in the country, although it’s not known whether they’d actually be able to use Macs in the region. Speaking of device use, Internet access is heavily restricted in North Korea, with users only able to access certain local news sources. North Korea has also developed its first smartphones and tablets, according to previous reports, largely based on Android OS.
Apple has traditionally fought many rival companies in courts to defend its products, although fighting the North Korea government’s new Red Star OS version may not be an option.
Images showing the latest version of Red Star OS follow below.