Baidu launches Yi OS, coming to a Dell Streak near you?

Streak-Baidu

Unless you live in China, then no.

Baidu, which is often called the Chinese Google, recently announced that it will be launching its own mobile OS called Yi. It will be built using an Android kernel but will have Baidu’s apps instead of the traditional Google services. It is believed that it will include Baidu’s own maps, ebooks, cloud storage, and cloud backup applications, as well as a music store, app store, and custom SDK.

The reason I’m telling you this is that Dell and Baidu are now working together. The new partnership tells us that the “local services” on the currently China-only Streak 10 Pro will be provided by Baidu.

It also shows that Dell is trying to rejuvenate the Streak by bringing it to a whole new market, the People’s Republic of China. We already know that China is the first country to get Dell’s first Honeycomb tablet, the Streak 10 Pro, and hopefully it will be coming to the rest of the world late 2011/early 2012.  If Dell puts the Baidu name on its device, it stands a chance to do very well because Baidu is one of the best known brands in China.

There is also a bit of rumor going around saying that Dell is expected to change the search engine on the Streak devices that we know and love from Google to Baidu. I can confidently say that will never happen, as so many people use Google Maps and Google search that changing it would leave many people, including myself, very unhappy. Baidu is also a strictly Chinese search engine and is likely not to have much success outside of there.

The new partnership could also give Dell something of a “testing ground” in China before bringing new devices to the US, EU, and so on. Supposedly, the devices in China will be running Yi instead of Android, but that doesn’t mean that Dell can’t test at least the hardware out on these new devices, even if the software will be different from what the rest of the world will see.

In other words, there’s no reason to believe that we’ll see Yi OS outside of Chinese borders anytime soon, but the fact that Dell is still pushing the Streak somewhere in the world is a good sign that the rest of us haven’t been completely abandoned.

[Reuters via The Verge & PC Pro] Thanks, Jamie!

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Brodie Duncan

Brodie Duncan is a former contributing editor at StreakSmart, which was merged into Pocketables in 2012.