By 29 July 2011 | Categories: news


China’s Alibaba Cloud Computing has announced plans to launch its own mobile operating system dubbed Aliyun. This is despite the fierce competition between Google, with its Android OS and Apple, with iOS,  which are currently the predominant players in the mobile operating system sector.  

While Alibaba Cloud Computing, a part of the Alibaba Group, may not be well known in South Africa, it is in fact part of one of the world’s largest internet conglomerates, with operations in seventy cities in China, India, Japan, Korea, the UK and the US. The launch comes as sales of smartphones in China, the world's largest mobile handset market, are expected to rapidly increase.

Open is in

Wang Jian, the president of Alibaba Cloud Computing, asserted that mobile users desired an open and convenient operating system, which enabled them to enjoy the full benefits of the internet from the palm of their hand. He added that the operating system, which will use cloud based applications, would provide that.

According to the company, the Aliyun operating system will feature email, internet search and web-based applications. Jian elaborated that users would not need to download or install applications onto their mobile devices.

Instead, users would be able to seamlessly synchronize, store and back-up data such as contact information, call logs, text messages, notes and photos to AliCloud's remote data center, and would additionally be able to access and update this data across all their PC and mobile devices.

Cellphone manufacture is out

While the company reported that it was exploring the potential of its OS being used in low-end cellphones with unspecified phone manufacturers, Jian stressed that the company did not intend to make or sell phones, but rather concentrate on building the operating system. However, the company did express plans to launch its own tablet PC that ran off the Aliyun OS by the end of 2011.

The one to watch

While it is doubtful, at least initially, that this would find its way to South African shores, news that one of the world’s largest conglomerates is turning its attention creating an operating system for the burgeoning global smartphone and tablet market, in as populous a country as China, is a development that both Google and Apple would be wise not to ignore.    



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