While Shenzhen Xunlong Software has released numerous Orange Pi-branded single-board computers (SBCs) over the years, such as the Orange Pi 5 and the Orange Pi 800. However, the company relied on third-party operating systems like Debian and Ubuntu rather than a first-party alternative. Shenzhen Xunlong Software has sought to change this with Orange Pi OS, which ships first in the Orange Pi 5 and is already available to download for the Orange Pi 800.
According to Shenzhen Xunlong Software, it has based Orange Pi OS on Android 12, but Arch Linux ARM and Open Harmony variants should be available in 2023. Despite its origins, Orange Pi OS looks like Shenzhen Xunlong Software set about copying Windows 11, with its File manager and Control Center both facsimiles of the ones that Microsoft now ships in its desktop OS. Similarly, Shenzhen Xunlong Software has integrated classic Windows shortcuts, as well as familiar Settings and Start menus.
With that said, Shenzhen Xunlong Software claims that it will eventually distribute a macOS theme for Orange Pi OS too. Still, basing Orange Pi OS on Android allows it to pre-install the Google Play Store, which gives it a distinct advantage over Windows 11. Presumably, it should be possible to install Orange Pi OS on other SBCs eventually, which would allow a Windows 11-like experience on low-powered hardware like the Rockchip RK3999 found in the Orange Pi 800 or the Rockchip RK3588S in the Orange Pi 5.
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.