We now know that Baidu Yi, a brand new mobile operating system unveiled Monday by Baidu, the dominant search engine company in China, is forked from Android. We knew it would be stripped of Google search, but we haven’t been aware of the extent of customization. A DigiTimes story from this morning indicates the software cuts all ties with Google services:
Baidu’s new software platform will feature map, e-book reader, cloud storage and search functions.
Baidu yesterday forged a partnership with Dell, which is expected to unveil first Baidu Yi-powered tablets and smartphones this November, in time for the holiday shopping season. Some even think Baidu Yi gear will roll out worldwide rather than in China only. The publication also highlights another interesting nugget we haven’t known, that Dell will preload devices with an Android-based app of its own.
Basically a storefront to the online Dell store, the app will allow for buying Dell computers online and giving ratings. No doubt Dell sees Baidu Yi both as an opportunity to drum up publicity for their ailing tablet business and upsell consumers to their computer products. No word on whether Baidu Yi will run a customized user interface atop Android, similar to Samsung’s TouchWiz or Motorola’s MotoBlur.