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Samsung Electronics has dumped its own Bada operating system for low-cost handsets and decided to co-develop open-source Tizen OS in a bid to make its entry-level smartphones better. The world’s largest supplier of mobile phones hopes that the first products powered by Tizen will be available already this summer.

“We are in the process of merging Bada with Tizen [an open-source operating system being developed by Samsung and Intel]. You will likely see the first smartphone using Tizen from Samsung in the third quarter of this year,” said J.K. Shin, a co-CEO and head of mobile business unit at Samsung, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

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 and Samsung, as well as numerous partners, believe 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.

Samsung first planned Tizen-based devices in 2012.

Tags: Samsung, Intel, Tizen, Linux, Android, iOS

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