Alibaba Cloud Computing, developer of advanced data centric cloud computing services and a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, which is 40 per cent owned by Yahoo, has unveiled its internally developed cloud-based mobile device operating system, the Aliyun.
The K-Touch cloud smartphone, W700, the first mobile phone powered by the cloud OS, was also unveiled and will be introduced to the Chinese market at the end of July.
Alibaba also plans to integrate the OS with other devices including mobile phones with larger screens and tablet computers in the coming months.
Currently the devices based on this OS will be available in the Chinese market only, however, since Yahoo has substantial stake in the venture, it will probably be made available in other markets as well, once the success is ascertained in the Chinese market.
Yahoo would love to revive its fortunes through this Operating system and would like to challenge its arch rival Google, which has made Yahoo a fringe player in the search engine business and already has a formidable presence in the mobile operating system market with its Android OS.
“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,” said Wang Jian, president of Alibaba Cloud Computing.
The cloud OS will feature cloud services including e-mail, Internet search, weather updates, mapping and GPS navigation tools. A distinguishing feature of the cloud OS is its support for web-based apps.
These offer users an Internet-like experience and do not require the user to download or install application software on their mobile devices. Cloud OS users can seamlessly synchronize, store and back-up data such as contact information, call logs, text messages, notes and photos to AliCloud’s (the service of Alibaba Cloud Computing) remote data centre, and can also access and update this data across all their PC and mobile devices.
AliCloud will provide each cloud OS user with a total of 100 gigabytes of data storage initially, with plans to expand according to user needs.
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.
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, which means that there will be no dearth of applications for the OS.
The specification of the W700 include 3.8-inch Touch Display with 480 x 800 screen resolution NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor, 5 megapixels back facing camera and 0.3 megapixels front camera. The rear camera has 720p HD video recording capability, and the can playback 1080p HD video.
The phone has 512MB RAM, 8GB ROM, micro-SD card slot for 32GB memory expansion. Connectivity is taken care by HSPA (7.2 Mbps), 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, A-GPS.