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28 September 2011, 10:41

Tizen: the latest mobile Linux announced

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Tizen logo Intel and Samsung are now confirmed to be working under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, and with the cooperation of the Limo Foundation, on "Tizen", a new mobile operating system based on Linux. Various rumours about the parties' future plans for MeeGo and merging of plans have been in circulation, but the announcement of a new operating system was unexpected. The Tizen operating system will combine components of MeeGo and Limo with an emphasis on supporting HTML5-based applications and WAC (Wholesale Applications Community) distribution and APIs. WAC is the product of a number of mobile companies who have developed a uniform platform for mobile widgets and applications based on W3C standards.

Intel and Samsung are leading the technical steering group of Tizen's decision-making body. Like MeeGo, Tizen is aimed at smartphones, tablets, netbooks, IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) and Smart TV. The developers hope to deliver a version of Tizen in the first quarter of 2012 complete with a software development kit (SDK). The entire software stack for Tizen should be open source "from the core OS up through the core applications and polished user interfaces". Qt, which has been MeeGo's key technology for applications, is not mentioned on the Tizen web site, but there is a promise of support for a native development kit.

Intel developer Imad Sousou explained in a blog posting that the MeeGo team had decided that as the "future belongs to HTML5-based applications" it would be inappropriate to simply develop MeeGo. Sousou said that just putting a web runtime on an existing operating system was not the right approach; moving to HTML5 applications meant that the non-browser APIs "need not be as rigid and can evolve with platform technology and can vary by market segment". He thanked everyone who had participated in MeeGo and encouraged developers and users to move to Tizen once transition plans have been developed.


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