Screenshots are emerging of what looks to be Alibaba’s cloud-based mobile OS. Along with pictures of an Alibaba desktop web browser, we’re getting a clearer idea of how these might tie into Aliyun – AliCloud – as both a PC and mobile platform.
Today’s leak of the alleged Aliyun mobile OS screenshots shows a good-looking interface that resembles Android, with familiar widgets, toggles, and toolbar notifications. But various Chinese tech sites are conflicted on whether or not this is based on Android.
Here’s a collection of screenshots:
In addition, leaked images of a cloud-oriented Aliyun Windows desktop web browser have emerged:
Alibaba already has a strong collection of apps for iPhone and Android, so why the push – if true – to their own mobile OS? As always, having your own platform is about control. But it could also be about security, with a controlled mobile OS and vetted third-party apps being a safer solution than the greater number of risks of malware and phishing that come from malicious Android apps or people using outdated browsers.
The company’s online payment division, Alipay, recently unveiled mobile barcode payments in their iPhone, Android and Symbian S60 apps. It’d be a no-brainer for an Aliyun mobile OS to have this baked-in.
Alibaba has held the copyright on AliCloud – in English, anyway – since 2009, so their concept is not new, but it’s only just being tied into something significant that’s being aimed at, most likely, ordinary consumers. Though it might also have applications for Alibaba’s – and Taobao.com’s – vast army of business and C2C sellers. Indeed, Alibaba already has the domain Aliyun.com all set up as a developer-oriented showcase for their cloud platform, emphasising its uses as a business marketplace and a games centre, via potential third-party apps. No mention on it of a mobile platform, though.
[Image sources: Tech.Sina.com; Tech.QQ.com; CNbeta.com]