Alibaba the Chinese e-commerce giant release Android and iOS rival:
Alibaba is a strange beast, as anyone who has looked into packaging and trade internationally will have realised.
As a website it works as a kind of hub for manufacturers, suppliers, exporters, buyers, and providers of all sorts of s services to come together and pitch for business with would be traders globally.
Very powerful and very popular.
So how and why have Alibaba, a traditional e-commerce type business decided that a new mobile operating system based on cloud technology would be a good way to move forward?
Alibaba already have a mobile OS:
Firstly they have already got a Chinese version of the Aliyun OS working that has been trialled since July.
This version of the OS has currently only been available via one Chinese device manufacturer called TianYu, Dr Wang Jian the Chief architect of the project has stated that they are now..
“discussing with at least three global [hardware] vendors”
The time-scale for releasing the OS and accompanying smartphones and tablets to the global market seems to remain slightly unclear but very much the grand plan for Alicloud and Alibaba.
Wang Jian went on to say that an iPad rival will appear “in two month’s time.”..though there is no mention of the manufacturer or if this will be available outside of China initially.
The reason they have gone into this field is quite clear. After creating the Alicloud division a few years ago, the company has seen that more and more time is spent by users on smartphone and tablet devices connected to the Internet, as an internet based company now is the perfect time to devise a means of capitalising on their exiting traffic, size and power, with inherent ties with Chinese and global manufacturers and geographic base within an ever more powerful China.
Technical details of the Aliyun OS and Alicloud:
Currently the “Aliyun OS.” works on the K-Touch Cloud-Smart Phone W700 and is the only device that is offered currently.
Wang Jian, president of Alibaba Cloud Computing states that:
“Mobile users want a more open and convenient mobile OS, one that allows them to truly enjoy all
that the Internet has to offer right in the palm of their hand, and the cloud OS, with its use of cloud-
based applications, will provide that,”
Mobile developers helped also:
He then goes on to say that you cannot separate ‘mobile’ from ‘cloud’:
“One cannot succeed without the other. The mobile internet right now is just a structure. We now think we want to make the internet mobilized. Introducing cloud apps to mobile devices not only brings a whole new user experience, but also greater ease for third-party mobile software developers who will be able to use Internet technology
With the Alicloud feature being at the heart of the Aliyun OS, users will require less need to download applications and it should ensure that data is safer and easier to transfer to other applications that are hosted on their cloud servers.
This could be something that Amazon, Apple and Google will look further into. Amazon already have their own very successful cloud based Amazon servers (EC2) and their new foray into a Amazon kindle tablet like device.
Aliyun users will be offered a 100GB of storage on their Alicloud servers and probably offer additional space if that is needed.
In design terms this should help reduce the overall size and processor power needed and could help to ensure that smartphones and tablets use less power and last longer once charged.
Wang went on to say recently that:
“Eventually all our services will be delivered on mobile. People will spend less time in front of their computer screens and more time in front of their smartphones,”
Recent reports suggest that the Aliyun OS is Linux based, dashing reports earlier that it was a tweaked version of the Android OS. All I can say to the Aliyun team is that I hope it is as clear of patent infringements as possible when related to Apple and Google, as the challenge of exporting a Chinese OS to Western Europe and the US will not be met without a filthy legal battle ensuing if a mere hint of a legal challenge is deemed possible.
Word of warning to Alibaba and Aliyun developers and device manufacturers of the future:
It appears that the tactic of late is quite simply to drag costly litigation out as much as possible in the hope a new device has chance to enter the market to reduce the chances that the competing device takes ground….see the ongoing Samsung debate in German courts.
I will keep you posted on what happens with this new OS as more reports come through regarding their unconfirmed talks with manufacturers of tablets and smartphones….interesting times ahead!
The Death of traditional PC’s seems to be coming true ever more!Anthony Munns