Intel and Samsung have joined forces to create an open source operating system based on the Linux kernel for use in smartphones, tablets, TVs, cars and netbooks.
The Tizen operating system is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2012. Development will be completely open and hosted by the Linux Foundation, explained Dawn Foster, former community manager for MeeGo.
"The Tizen APIs 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," Foster said on the Tizen blog.
"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."
Nick Dillon, platform and devices analyst at Ovum, suggested that the partnership has potential, but may be too late to challenge the likes of Android.
"If Tizen was created a couple of years ago it could have been a challenger to Android. Although it may be too late to challenge Google, Tizen could help Intel grow its mobile portfolio, as it has negligible share of the market at the moment," he told V3.
"With devices such as tablets moving upstream, ARM could start eating into PC sales so Intel needs to make a move into this area."
Tizen is Intel's second attempt to enter the mobile OS market after its ill-fated collaboration with Nokia on the MeeGo operating system.
Nokia eventually chose to go with Windows Phone before releasing any devices. Nokia belatedly released the MeeGo-based N9 in limited countries, but the platform has been all but killed off.
Intel may have a better chance with Samsung, which has overtaken Nokia in western Europe as the number one mobile manufacturer and is doing very well in the smartphone market with its Galaxy and Wave devices.
The Korean firm ships devices with Android and Windows Phone 7 for the high-end market, and uses its in-house Bada operating system for the mid-tier range.
However, Android is subject to numerous patent law suits, and the cost of using the platform could rise in the future. Windows Phone devices have yet to set the market alight, so investing in Tizen could prove fruitful for Samsung.
Dillon did suggest that purchasing the webOS operating system may have been a better option for Samsung, as it is a complete and tested platform.
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