Samsung announces Linux smartphone OS

November 10, 2009 | 10:14

Tags: #android #bada #google-android #iphone #limo #linux-smartphone #maemo #samsung-bada

Companies: #samsung

Google's Android is set to receive some competition with the news that Samsung is launching its own Linux-based smartphone platform dubbed "bada."

According to an article over on Electronista, Samsung's bada - which is derived from the Korean word for 'ocean' - is set to be a completely open platform, with nothing considered beyond the reach of wily developers: if the core system can achieve it, third party developers can access, expand, and even replace it.

Designed to compete against existing Linux-based open-source platforms including Google's popular Android, Nokia's Maemo, and the Linux Mobile Foundation's LiMo project, bada is due to ship some time in the first half of 2010 - with carriers receiving the ability to customise the operating system as they see fit, along with a sneak peek in December for interested developers.

While carrier customisation is certainly important if you want anyone to actually carry your handset, Samsung is going to have to walk a fine line: for a platform which prides itself on hackability and openness, a heavily locked down version from a paranoid carrier will harm bada's reputation - and could see the platform sink in an already fairly crowded marketplace.

As is de rigeur for smartphone platforms, bada will - of course - be receiving a centralised application store which offers downloadable software for all versions of the OS, no matter which carrier. So far the company hasn't detailed the process by which developers can get their applications on the store, nor the cut the company will take from the sale price. There is also no confirmation as to whether the openness of the platform extends to the ability to easily install applications from sources other than the official app store - something missing from rivals such as Apple's iPhone OS.

The move will see Samsung abandon Nokia's Symbian platform entirely, and reduce its use of Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform to just 20 percent of its handsets by 2012.

Do you believe that truly open Linux-based smartphones are the way forward, or should Samsung be helping to develop Google's Android platform rather than introducing another bit-player into the market? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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