Samsung Electronics has announced plans to merge its Bada operating system for entry-level handsets with Tizen platform that Intel Corp. helps to develop. The two companies want to create a powerful platform for various mobile devices with a rich library of software and dedicated developers who are already committed to Bada or Tizen.
“We have an effort that will merge bada and Tizen,” said Tae-Jin Kang, senior vice president of Samsung’s contents planning team, in an interview with Forbes at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
When the merger is done, Tizen will support mobile applications written with Bada’s software development kit. That support will include backwards compatibility for previously published Bada apps. After Bada and Tizen essentially become the same thing, software developers will use the same tools, SDKs, APIs, etc., which will enable easy transition for developers from Bada, which has relatively limited capabilities, and Tizen, which is supposed to become a fully-fledged operating system for smartphones, tablets and other devices.
Tizen is a standards-based, cross-architecture software platform, which supports multiple device categories including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle infotainment systems.
Tizen combines the open-source technologies from LiMo and the Linux foundation and adds a robust and flexible standards-based HTML5 and WAC web development environment within which device-independent applications can be produced efficiently for unconstrained cross-platform deployment. This approach leverages the robustness and flexibility of HTML5 which is rapidly emerging as a preferred application environment for mobile applications and the broad carrier support of the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC).
Intel believes that HTML5-based applications will eventually be more widespread and competitive that programs designed for particular eco-systems, such as Apple iOS or Google Android. Still, Samsung has plans for a couple of Tizen-based devices in 2012 and does not intend to make it the main OS.
"Tizen will not become Samsung’s main operating platform anytime soon," Mr. Kang stressed.
It is important to note that Intel will be working with Motorola Mobility on Google Android smartphones and tablets and will also help Samsung and other interested parties to develop Tizen operating system for mobile devices. While Intel is not a software developer and it is in its best interests to ensure that its ultra low-power system-on-chip devices work flawlessly with all available operating systems, a conflict of interests may eventually develop.