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Summary:

Umpteen hardware and software brands are re-making Android in to their own mobile operating system, scrubbing any trace of Google. Russia’s government could be the next to jump aboard.

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By now, we have seen how anyone can customise Android to offer their own mobile operating system.

Countless amateur hackers are doing it, large tech firms like Amazon are doing it, and umpteen Chinese internet brands are re-making Google’s system in their own image.

Now, Russia may want a piece of the action.

Technopark-based MiFi has pitched to deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin RoMOS, its Russian Mobile Operating System. The firm wants to supply Russia’s Ministry of Defence with 10-inch, RoMOS-equipped tablets, but aims to bring it to the consumer market for 15,000 rubles ($465).

“This operating system has all the functionality of the operating system, Android, but no secret functions sending personal data to the headquarters of Google,” says MiFi’s Andrew Starikovskii (via Interfax).

Russia has been here before. In 2010, another firm pitched a Russian-native, Android-based smartphone, but it has not yet come to market.

After reconstituting itself with a $150 million investment from a Russian government venture arm, e-reader firm Plastic Logic in 2011 got a Russian Ministry of Education contract to sell e-readers through government. But this spring Plastic Logic abandoned its hardware business.

  1. The irony of the whole situation is that a lot of people might rather be tracked by Google than by the Russian government.

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