According to a Forbes report, Samsung will merge and open source its own Bada OS into the Intel-backed Tizen, which in itself was more or less a continuation of Nokia’s abandoned MeeGo, which in itself was basically a combination of the former Intel Moblin and Nokia Maemo projects; both were based on a Linux core.
However, compared to the aforementioned operating systems, most of which never materialized into any meaningful products (with the MeeGo-based Nokia N9 being one notable exception), Samsung’s Bada has enjoyed some moderate success and is installed on 2% of all smartphones worldwide, even more than Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. Of course, this is mostly due to the lower cost of Bada devices, which Samsung has been positioning between smartphones using Android or Windows Phone and low-end feature phones.
Upon merging, existing applications written for Bada will continue to work with the new Tizen, and both Bada and Tizen developers will receive the same set of new SDKs with unified APIs. But apart from backwards-compatibility for apps, it’s not known yet whether existing hardware – Bada devices from the Samsung Wave series – will be compatible with Tizen going forward, or if they’ll be stuck with their old Bada versions.
In whatever case, this move certainly signifies Samsung’s desire to keep a homegrown smartphone OS around in order to be less dependent on Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows Phone, with both platforms having their own “preferred partners”. Google bought Motorola last year to become a manufacturer of Android devices itself, while Nokia is Microsoft’s privileged partner and has more rights to software modifications than other Windows Phone OEMs.
With the possibility of “at least one to two” Tizen devices from Samsung coming this year, what do you think? Would you buy a higher-end Tizen-powered smartphone? Sound off in the comments or discuss in the forum thread._________
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