Support for the cloud computing operating system called Aliyun is increasing in its home country, China, according to an interview with Chief Strategy Officer Zeng Ming with Wall Street Journal. This will help Aliyun OS become more competitive against Android OS, which is likewise a popular choice for Android device manufacturers in said country.
According to Zeng, the number of device manufacturers offering Aliyun OS on their devices is currently two. However, three more are set to join them by the end of 2012. Zeng, however, declined to reveal the names of such manufacturers.
Aliyun OS, which is based on Linux, was launched in July 2011. It was created by a team of 1,600 engineers. Alibaba Group, which is currently the world’s biggest e-commerce company in terms of the number of transactions, is behind the operating system.
Aliyun OS has, since it launch, gotten an upgrade to version 2.0. In contrast to Android or iOS, Aliyun’s apps are web-based whereas apps for Android and iOS are installed right on one’s smartphone or tablet. To date, Beijing Tianyu Communication Equipment and Haier are the only two companies which have launched Aliyun-based devices.
It is surmised that this growing support for Aliyun is one of the effects of the well-publicized Apple vs. Samsung case that some viewed as a battle between iOS and Android, instead. Samsung’s loss brought attention to other mobile operating systems that device makers can use. The most popular alternative is Windows Phone by the Microsoft Corporation. However, it likewise focused the spotlight on other operating systems available, such as Aliyun.
Alibaba has reason to be optimistic for a wider adoption of Aliyun OS in China. For one thing, China currently has a billion mobile phone users. These users come from a very diverse group, some of whom favor high-end handsets while the others prefer inexpensive phones. This diversity allows for more options in the market other than the more popular operating systems.
Moreover, as stated by Zeng himself, Android’s services such as Search, Gmail, and Maps, are limited in China. Aliyun can thus fill this gap with its own services.
At present, Alibaba continues to develop Aliyun, especially because its growth could also spell more revenue for its e-commerce ventures. Alibaba notes that online shoppers are moving from computers to mobile devices to do their shopping. Thus, the improvement of Aliyun could later have a positive effect on their business.