WP7 deal more crucial to Samsung than Tizen

Caroline Gabriel/Wireless Watch
03 Oct 2011
The prospect of a mobile platform headed by Intel and Samsung, and closely tied into the mobile operators, should be terrifying for rivals. But instead, the merger of Intel‘s MeeGo with fellow mobile Linux OS LiMO looks like another sign that, without the single-minded direction of a single vendor, a platform cannot succeed.
And Samsung could never be accused of being single-minded when it comes to operating systems – it is building up its own bada, but if none of its three Linux-based platforms delivers the smartphone domination it requires, it is getting close to WP7. Indeed, its new licensing/cooperation agreement on that front could bring Microsoft into bat for its new friend against the Apple lawsuits, a side benefit HTC is already indirectly seeing from its similar royalties pact.
But back to the newest Linux player on the block, Tizen, to be created from MeeGo and LiMO. Both systems looked great on paper as alternatives to the most vendor-controlled of open source OSs, Android. LiMO was designed to create a supplier-neutral platform which would support carrier customized mobile web experiences, supporting operator software initiatives like WAC (Wholesale Application Community).
MeeGo, even after Nokia‘s defection, vyed with webOS to be the most promising of the new breed of slimmed-down OSs suited to being embedded in a huge range of cloud-enabled devices, well beyond the handset. As such, both offerings had a distinctive proposition – but both lacked a wholehearted supporter.
Intel did, for a while, want to create an integrated silicon/OS platform and a framework it could control, to help drive its Atom processors into the mobile and embedded worlds. It merged its Moblin Linux OS with Nokia‘s Maemo to try to create the new “Wintel” for the mobile world. But Nokia lost interest when it adopted WP7, and Intel‘s recently announced close alliance with Google, to optimize Android for Atom, showed that the chip giant had conceded defeat and accepted that Windows and Android would be its main areas of activity.
Meanwhile, carrier supported platforms, from SavaJe to LiMO, have always suffered from the fact that cellcos can reach huge numbers of users and developers, but have no track record in creating a mobile experience which excites them. The main supporters of LiMO were handset makers with a significant business in designing customized devices for operators, so the OS thrived primarily in Japan, once its original flagship supporter, Vodafone, turned cold.


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