Acer was all set to reveal a phone based on the Aliyun operating system by Alibaba, the retail giant from China. The operating system was in the work for around a year, and was in the know-how of the tech world. The event was quite an anticipated one, but was observed to be called off with quite a number of words getting exchanged from all sides.
It was reported that Google made a call to Acer, and asked it to call off the event otherwise its licensing that allows it make Android phones will be scrapped. We don’t know exactly what was exchanged on the phone, but something on those lines is being reported across many tech blogs.
Acer, after cancelling the event said that Google has “expressed concerns” about the event. They didn’t go into the details of the concern or words that was said by Google.
Google: ”Compatibility is at the heart of the Android ecosystem and ensures a consistent experience for developers, manufacturers and consumers. Non-compatible versions of Android, like Aliyun, weaken the ecosystem. All members of the Open Handset Alliance have committed to building one Android platform and to not ship non-compatible Android devices. This does not however, keep OHA members from participating in competing ecosystems.”
Alibaba was unhappy with the turn of events and posted their own reply as
“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.”
They retracted at their earlier stated line and said; ”Aliyun OS is built on open-source Linux and is not part of the Android ecosystem.”
Maybe! Alibaba realized that rather than saying that they copied Android, it will be safe to say that they copied Linux which is an open source thing. Android too is based on Linux operating system only.
Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content later published a post explaining the complete stance of Google on the issue. He said that Android was released as an open source platform for anyone to use, but one thing that they cannot withstand is the incompatibilities between implementations of Android. He gave an illustration as
“Imagine a hypothetical situation where the platform on each phone sold was just a little bit different. Different enough where Google Maps would run normally on one phone but run terribly slow on another. Let’s say, for the sake of example, that Android implemented an API that put the phone to sleep for a fraction of a second to conserve battery life when nothing was moving on the screen. The API prototype for such a function might look like SystemClock.sleep(millis) where the parameter “millis” is the number of milliseconds to put the device to sleep for.
If one phone manufacturer implemented SystemClock.sleep() incorrectly, and interpreted the parameter as Seconds instead of Milliseconds, the phone would be put to sleep a thousand times longer than intended! This manufacturer’s phone would have a terrible time running Google Maps. If apps don’t run well across devices due to incompatibilities, consumers would leave the ecosystem, followed by developers. The end of the virtuous cycle.”
I think after reading the above stuff, developers at Alibaba would itself think once about the Aliyun OS. Google shouldn’t have called Acer, the call to Alibaba would have been enuff!