Samsung replaces Nokia as Intel partner to give birth to a new open source mobile OS.
Once it was Moblin, a Linux-based mobile OS developed by Intel to run on different devices as netbooks, tablets and smartphones. One day Moblin met Maemo, another Linux-based OS made by Nokia, and they decided to get together and to give birth to MeeGo. Due to Nokia’s experience and relevancy in the mobile industry, the Finnish company pushed for the adoption of QT as programming interface just in time before abandoning its former partner to follow the more charming invite by Microsoft, and leaving the newborn baby without a father figure. And here comes Samsung.
Disappointed from the bad results of its own Bada platform, that despite a new 2.0 version failed to achieve the forecasted sales (they still didn’t reach the 5 million units they planned to sell in the first half of 2011), and not sure to follow the successful Android route after Motorola’s acquisition by Google, the Korean company decided to look for a new platform to differentiate its devices from the competition (but still copying graphic interfaces and accessories from the strongest ones). If Windows Phone was not the right choice (poor sales and a new Microsoft favorite in Nokia), Sammy checked out HP’s WebOS but it didn’t quite fit its needs; the Korean finally met Intel and announced their union, and a new mobile OS coming out of it: Tizen.
Hosted by the Linux Foundation, the new project will support multiple device categories, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks, and in-vehicle infotainment devices. The QT interface will be dropped in favor of HTML5, as explained in a first blog post:
The Tizen application programming interfaces are based on HTML5 and other web standards, and we anticipate that the vast majority of Tizen application development will be based on these emerging standards. These APIs will cover various platform capabilities, such as messaging, multimedia, camera, network, and social media. For those who use native code in their applications, the Tizen SDK will include a native development kit. We will open the entire Tizen software stack, from the core OS up through the core applications and polished user interfaces.
Will Tizen succeed to convince developers and users that this new platform is able to compete with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone? Will Samsung commit itself for real, even dropping Android to support Tizen? And will Intel finally deliver us a competitive mobile platform?