The China-based Alibaba Group is planning to launch its own operating system,  for mobile devices, called Aliyun OS along with it anew smartphone, in partnership with K-Touch, the W700.

Aliyun OS derives from Linux and is reportedly similar to Android and could even run Android applications. Plus, Alibaba’s operating system could also run other web apps based on HTML5 and JavaScript, whether the users are online or not. This compatibility would give developers the chance and the flexibility to create applications for the devices running Aliyun OS.

Alibaba’s Mobile OS Ambitions:

According to the company’s official announcement, the operating system will be available later this year and promises to rival Google’s Android platform, Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS or Apple’s iOS, especially on its main target market – home country China. It seems that everybody wants to have an OS, recently Mozilla announced of their plan of launching the Gecko OS.

The company is already known for its provided services in online commerce, payment platforms, and cloud computing services. By entering the smartphone market, Chinese consumers could show increased interest in their smartphone vendor, since they are already familiar with the company’s services.

And the Chinese market is definitely not a small one, with about a billion phone users, out of which 280 million are smartphone owners.

Alibaba has been working on the project for the past three years and will make its appearance in the third quarter. The new operating system will be integrated into the company’s own cloud computing service, somewhat similar to Apple’s iCloud, which includes emails, maps, backup, SMS storage, and many other features. However, in terms of provided online storage space, the Chinese company surpasses the giant Apple, offering 100 GB at launch.

The new smartphone platform will most likely provide applications in the cloud, rather than on the device itself. The first ones to benefit from the Aliyun operating system will be Chinese smartphone vendors, but others could as well be using the platform.

As mentioned before, a K-Touch smartphone running Aliyun OS will soon be available. Few of the upcoming phone’s specifications have been revealed. The K-Touch Cloud Smartphone is said to come with a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and a 3.8-inch capacitive touchscreen. The Chinese company has also made public the K-Touch Smartphone’s price, of 2,680 Yuan, meaning somewhere around $416.

A future tablet is also on the cards.