LONDON – Two Linux oriented non-profit groups, The LiMo Foundation and The Linux Foundation, have announced an open-source project called Tizen, intended to develop a mobile device software platform based on the Linux operating system.
In what appears to be an attempt to re-invent what search-engine giant Google has achieved with its Android platform, the groups said Tizen would be a standards-based, cross-architecture software platform that supports multiple device categories including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle infotainment systems. The initial release of Tizen is targeted for Q1 2012, enabling first devices to come to market in mid-2012.
Intel will drop its own MeeGo mobile OS initiative in favor of Tizen and reportedly Samsung, a heavy supporter of Android, will seek to reduce its dependency on Google by backing Tizen.
Tizen is set to combine the open-source offerings from LiMo and The Linux Foundation and add HTML5 and web development environment within which device-independent applications can be produced efficiently for cross-platform deployment.
The LiMo Foundation (www.limofoundation.org) was founded by Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Orange, Samsung Electronics, and Vodafone with the aim of increasing the adoption of Linux within the mobile industry. It includes ARM, Marvell, Renesas and Intel subsidiary Wind River as associate members.
The Linux Foundation (www.linuxfoundation.org) is much broader but has seven platinum members at the top of its organization: Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle and Qualcomm.
Morgan Gillis, executive director of The LiMo Foundation decribed Tizen as a "renewed ecosystem" for mobile Linux proponents. The Limo Foundation said that the mobile industry is embracing Linux and open source technologies, but the creation of Tizen appears to be an acknowledgement that the open-source Linux has failed to gain traction in competition against the open but Google-owned Android. The other successful approach towards mobile systems has been the proprietary one of Apple Inc.
The Tizen project promises to lower device realization cost, increase flexibility and improve time to market for system developers.
The Tizen project is being hosted by the The Linux Foundation but has its own website at www.tizen.org
At IDF, Otellini said (speaking of MeeGo) there is still an industry desitre for another open mobile Linux ecosystem. Given the patent battles and uncertainty around Google/Motorola, and the need for the LiMo folks to have a roadmap, this makes sense. Still building a new Linux Mobile platform in 2012 is starting from waaaaay behind.
The operating system of phones doesn't matter any more. It is about what runs on it. It is just like the PC market and why Windows and OS-X are dominant.
The OS is the easy part. Who's going to come up with the application store infrastructure?
There needs to be a large company with a big financial stake in the continuing development of this OS. This is like a side project for Intel as a way to boost chip sales--not quite the incentive that Apple, Microsoft and Google (through advertising revenue) have.
LiMo and MeeGo couldn't keep up before. What has changed?
Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility. I said at the time that they have made a mistake IMHO and I have not changed my mind. They offered their rivals an opportunity they could not dream of to compete with them on their own turf! As for the PC/Mobile analogy, I believe the mobile market has yet to mature and there is still a window of opportunity for competing OSes.
The reason all this is happening is because companies need to distinguish themselves. Following along doesn't show you're a leader. So what you do is provide distractions with slightly different concepts.....just enough to keep everybody confused and scrambling and thinking you're the next greatest thing. If it fails, then just invent something else.
Is this also partly an attempt by the old guard, represented by LiMo and Linux Foundations to curtail the success of Google, by providing an alternative that can take market share.
For a long time the telecommunicaions giants fought to keep Wintel out of phones.
It just seems that in the case of Google the IT and communications giants may be trying to shut the stable door after the horse is off and running and half-way across the next county.
I am no phone OS expert but I get the impression that, nicely formed as Symbian might be, it was architectured in an earlier era and optimized for less graphical displays (not 3-D for instance), less memory, lower performance processors, lower bandwidth and a simpler, radio environment.
So the market is looking for alternatives that provide headroom it turns of a rich mobile environment that can easily accommodate the latest developments like app stores, sharing data with consumer equipment, and high-security for rights management and wave-and-pay.
I don't get it. Wasn't it not that long ago that everyone was all GO Android GO! trying to beat the evil WinCE, Palm and IOS establishment? Now it seems Android has mostly delivered on it promises to 'liberate' the common end user from proprietary OS prison, and now here's everyone talking about yet another mobile OS wanna-be? Give it a rest. Android won, game over.
Maxmin, just wondering if you are able to share more insight that you have not disclosed yet. What gives you that optimism regarding a new OS challenger to crowded biosphere that may not have enough market volume to sustain all these choices and volumes required for a profit.
@maxmin I totally agree with you that tizen will become dominant in mobile devices in 1-2 years. I think Tizen will get good support from Intel,Samsung, HTC. Needs to be seen what strategies will Google adopt to counter Tizen growth.
"Contrary to the negative comments to the Tizen by the most in this blog, I'd predict that Tizen will become dominant in mobile devices..." maxmin
Well, I disagree. In fact, LIMO already tried to create this 'open' phone OS that you say everyone wants, even before Android came out. And the LIMO proponents were very vocal about how Android was going to fail because it isn't truely open.
So your forecast has already been proven wrong.
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