Intel and Samsung have announced the launch of a new open-source project for smartphones called Tizen. Hosted by the Linux Foundation, Tizen replaces the MeeGo platform which was left without a paddle after Nokia abandoned it in February this year.
The project aims to take on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android by creating HTML5 and WAC-based ‘device-independent applications’ for multiple platforms including smartphones, tablets, TVs, netbooks and in-car systems. Also supporting Tizen is the LiMo Foundation, a consortium of companies, including Panasonic, Telefonica and Vodafone.
It’s unlikely Tizen poses a huge threat to Android’s dominance. For starters, it’s the second open-source OS project Samsung has affiliated itself with in two weeks, having once more committed to Bada last Tuesday. Also, given the success of MeeGo, which Nokia only ever released on the ill-fated N9 handset, Intel will be well aware of the challenges awaiting them.
In a press release announcing Tizen, the project stated it would ensure ‘users of MeeGo can easily transition to Tizen.’ Over on the MeeGo community blog, developer Imad Sousou posted that with Tizen ‘a lot of things will be the same as they were in the MeeGo project’ provoking questions as to whether this is more a rebranding exercise than a genuinely new smartphone OS.
Tizen is planned to lauch as a workable platform in the first quarter of 2012 and should be running on mobile handsets by midway next year.