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16 January 2012, 10:16

Samsung to merge bada with Tizen

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A senior vice president of Samsung says the company has "an effort that will merge bada and Tizen". In an interview with Forbes, Tae-Jin Kang, SVP of Samsung's Contents Planning Team said that an in-development integration of the two mobile platforms would, when completed, allow Tizen to run applications written with the bada SDK and include back compatibility for legacy bada applications. The merged platform would sit alongside Android, Windows Phone 7, ChromeOS, Windows and bada in Samsung's mobile operating system strategy.

The report does not reveal if Samsung's bada developments will be incorporated into Tizen as open source or whether the integration would remain a Samsung-only product. Tizen itself is the result of a merger of the Linux Foundation administered, Intel-sponsored MeeGo platform and Samsung's SLP (Samsung Linux Project). MeeGo had been left looking for a new sponsor after previous partner and contributor of Maemo to the MeeGo project, Nokia, disengaged from the effort to focus on its Windows Phone 7 devices. Tizen will be focused on running HTML5-based applications and working with WAC (Wholesale Applications Community), a carrier-developed platform for mobile widgets and applications. Tizen has yet to be released on any device, though a preview SDK was made available earlier this month.

Bada, launched in 2009 is middleware for mobile applications which can run on Linux, but has so far, only appeared in production devices running a proprietary RTOS. Bada devices have typically shipped in non-US markets and have managed to take around 2% of the smartphone market. Samsung hopes the integration move will allow the existing bada development community to move to Tizen in the future as the company simplifies the range of operating systems it ships on mobile devices. Kang's comments suggest that the integration would not be the end of bada though, as the company is considering bada for low-powered phones and Tizen, with bada support, for more powerful devices. For now, Kang says Tizen will probably be on "at least one or two Samsung devices this year" but will not become Samsung's main platform "anytime soon".


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