Google Pushes Samsung Towards Linux Mobile OS

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Samsung and Intel have teamed up to produce an OS that will give Apple, Google and Microsoft a run for their money, bringing with them a utopian approach to the new Linux software platform, named Tizen.

The new OS combines the abandoned MeeGo and LiMo Linux based operating systems and will directly compete against telco industry giants Apple, Google and Microsoft.

The LiMo foundation made the announcement on their website, saying:

“LiMo Foundation is pleased to give its full endorsement of the Tizen initiative as an important step forward for the mobile industry. LiMo is confident that Tizen brings together the necessary critical mass of market and technology leadership so as to enable the establishment of a single, open and independent Linux-based platform for mobile devices.”

Tizen will be an open source platform that encourages cross-architecture, with Technorati claiming it will need to meet a mobile platform standard. Inheriting MeeGo versatility, it will be used on smartphones, tablets, netbooks, smart TVs and vehicle entertainment systems.

Samsung and Intel are heading Tizen software, and are joined by a consortium that includes Motorola, NEC, Samsung, and McAfee. The consortium will join existing Linux foundation members including Intel, IBM, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Oracle and Qualcomm.

Samsung has been shopping around for a more competitive operating system since the Google-Motorola indiscretion, which turned their prosperous partner into a fierce competitor. By investing in Tizen, Samsung reduces its mobile dependency on Google, while also hedging risks associated with Android legal feuds and royalties.

Although Android was at one stage indifferent to mobile developers, the company now has a $12.5 billion interest in Motorola Mobility. The company also recognises the potential threat a Linux based OS could be, signing up Motorola to the consortium. 

 

LiMo was founded in 2007 with the goal of preventing fragmentation in the mobile industry. It hopes to unify the mobile phone industry with a common software platform and will lure third party developers through the use of industry standard HTML5 and WAC API implementations and toolkits.

Morgan Gillis, the Executive Director of the LiMo Foundation said “The most important thing about mobile Linux it that it’s not owned by any one industry party, and therefore it can be adopted without any difficult business model conflicts.”

Samsung’s backing of the software is a big plus, since the company has its hands in notebooks, TVs, smartphones and tablets. According to a DigiTimes report:

“Samsung will play an important role for the success of Tizen due to its status as one of the top vendors of smartphones and tablet PCs globally. Tizen will easily capture market share if Samsung shifts a certain portion of its products to the Tizen OS.”

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