Tizen Rises from the Ashes of MeeGo; Backed by Intel and Samsung

The smartphone landscape has seen a lot of disruption ever since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. Most of the existing platforms, like Symbian, Blackberry, Windows Mobile etc., have either been killed or have been rendered useless. Google launched Android and went from a zero market share to being the market leader in a couple of years. Microsoft seems to have adapted well and launched Windows Phone 7, the successor of Windows Mobile.

Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin, which were hardly seeing any traction, combined to form MeeGo, backed by both the companies. When Nokia embraced Windows Phone 7 in a bid to revive itself, Intel tried to save MeeGo. However, there wasn’t much it could have done to save it from its eventual fate – being dead-pooled.

Today, Intel has merged MeeGo (which was almost in a zombie state) with LiMo, another dying platform, to form Tizen. LiMo will host the project and Intel will support its development along with Samsung. If you’re wondering what the hell Samsung is doing with Tizen, when it has Bada to look after, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Everyone is wondering the same thing.

Reports indicate that Tizen will be launched in Q1 2012, with some devices by Intel and Samsung hitting the market by Q2 2012. I doubt Tizen will be able to attract any developers at all. Who would want to develop apps for such a whimsical platform that could be merged with some other platform after a few months, or even die?

Here’s the official announcement: Welcome to Tizen!

Today we are happy to welcome you to Tizen, a new open source project that is the home of the Tizen software platform, a mobile and device operating system based on Linux and other popular upstream projects. Tizen will support multiple device categories, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks, and in-vehicle infotainment devices. The Linux Foundation will host the project, where Tizen development will be completely open and led by a technical steering team composed of Intel and Samsung.

The Tizen application programming interfaces 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. 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.

We expect the first release of Tizen and its SDK in the first quarter of 2012.

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