The OS will debut inside a phone and tablet from Beijing Tianyu Communication Equipment Co., specifically the K-Touch Cloud-Smart Phone W700, the company said in a statement.
Alibaba's operating system makes use of "cloud-based" services, including e-mail, Internet search, weather updates and GPS and mapping applications, the company said. The OS will apparently require users to be constantly connected to take advantage of its Web-based apps, instead of designing applications that can run natively on the phone's hardware. But, the company added, there will be some interoperability with the Android OS.
Alibaba claims it is the largest e-commerce company in China, with first-quarter revenue of 1.53 billion yuan ($237.7 million).
Alibaba said that each user would be given a free 100 Gbytes of storage to back up data to AliCloud's remote data center, which could be replicated to the PC and mobile devices.
Third-party developers can opt to either develop cloud apps over their own servers or choose to use AliCloud's infrastructure and open platform services at a low cost and quickly develop their businesses, Alibaba said. "The cloud OS is the result of three years of development and uses AliCloud's self-developed distributed file system and virtual machine; the cloud OS is also fully compatible with Android-based applications," the company added.
It's unclear whether developers would latch onto the new OS, cloud-based or not. Although Nokia technically supported Symbian, the company's shift To Windows Phone essentially created a market of two top-tier mobile OSes (Apple's iOS and Google's Android) as well as, possibly, the struggling RIM BlackBerry OS. Other efforts, such as MeeGo and the recent Mozilla Boot to Gecko, would seem to fall into a second tier, where Aliyun OS would begin.
In other Alibaba news, Alibaba Group, Yahoo and SoftBank said they they reached an agreement in which Alibaba Group will continue to participate in Alipay's future financial performance, including a future IPO or other liquidity event. Alipay will pay to Alibaba Group, prior to a liquidity event, a royalty and software technology services fee, which consists of an expense reimbursement and a 49.9 percent share of the consolidated pre-tax income of Alipay and its subsidiaries. Alibaba Group will receive no less than $2 billion and no more than $6 billion in proceeds from an IPO of Alipay or other liquidity event, the companies said.
Yahoo and Alibaba Group have scrambled after it was disclosed in May that Alibaba had unexpectedly spun off one of its more lucrative business units, Alipay, into a separate company. Yahoo, which owns 43 percent of Alibaba, would receive substantial compensation in the case of a public offering.
Source : pcmag