Baidu, which already dominates China’s search engine market share, seems to be looking beyond search, testing a new web browser and planning to develop a new mobile operating system. Seems Baidu may be taking their cues from U.S. search giant Google, which has its own web browser (Chrome) and OS (Android).
Designed to integrate with its search applications and with security from malware in mind, Baidu’s new browser will also incorporate “box computing” — which returns applications and other content directly into search results, such as videos and games, according to PCWorld.
Just as Baidu dominates search with 75.5 percent market share, this Windows-based browser will put Baidu at odds with Microsoft. Internet Explorer is the top browser in China with 83 percent share among China’s 457 million Internet users.
This follows news from last week that Baidu was planning to develop a “light operating system for mobile devices,” according to the Financial Times.
It’s unclear if Robin Li indeed said this, as there is no direct quote. Baidu would neither confirm nor deny plans for the operating system in a followup report from Bloomberg. A Baidu spokesman told Bloomberg that Li didn’t specifically say that Baidu is developing an operating system for mobiles, but then refused to comment on whether an OS is in the works.
In the FT report, Li did discuss his vision for a mobile operating system that is ready to use one second after turning on the device — one that is “just about a search box.” And Li later was quoted by Dow Jones Newswires as saying “someone else can do it or we can do it ourselves, (it) does not matter.”
There have been rumors about a Baidu mobile OS as far back as last July, a project that supposedly was being led by two former Googlers.