Google's Rubin: 'No disputing' Aliyun OS is built on Android
Days after stopping manufacturing partner Acer from launching a smartphone running Chinese Internet giant Alibaba's Aliyun mobile operating system, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) continues to clarify its position, maintaining there is "no disputing" Aliyun's status as an Android-based OS.
Acer abruptly canceled the Aliyun device late last week after Google expressed concerns about the product. An Acer official told Dow Jones the company "will continue to communicate with Google," adding it "still wants to launch the new smartphone based on Alibaba software." Alibaba said that Acer "was notified by Google that if the product runs Aliyun OS, Google will terminate its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with our partner."
In a Google+ post published Friday, Google Senior Vice President of Mobile Andy Rubin said "The Aliyun OS incorporates the Android runtime and was apparently derived from Android. Based on our analysis of the apps available at http://apps.aliyun.com, the platform tries to, but does not succeed in being compatible." Alibaba Vice President John Spelich told CNet, "Aliyn is not a fork [of Android]. Ours is built on open-source Linux... Aliyun's runtime environment, which is the core of the OS, consists of both its own Java virtual machine, which is different from Android's Dalvik virtual machine, and its own cloud app engine, which supports HTML5 web applications."
Rubin fired back this weekend. "Hey John Spelich--We agree that the Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem and you're under no requirement to be compatible," he writes. "However, the fact is, Aliyun uses the Android runtime, framework and tools. And your app store contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps). So there's really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work that's gone into that platform by the [Open Handset Alliance]. So if you want to benefit from the Android ecosystem, then make the choice to be compatible. Its easy, free and we'll even help you out. But if you don't want to be compatible, then don't expect help from OHA members that are all working to support and build a unified Android ecosystem."
Google established the Open Handset Alliance in 2007 in conjunction with Android's launch. While non-OHA companies like Amazon can build devices running forked versions of Android, Google can step in to stop OHA members like Acer from taking actions and releasing products that threaten to fragment the Android ecosystem.
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