[Sponsored feature] What will Tizen, Intel's new open source operating system, mean for MeeGo?

FEATURE: Not a death but a metamorphosis

Unless you happened to have been locked away in a basement for the past week or so you can’t have failed to hear last week’s announcement about Intel and Samsung teaming up to create a new open-source operating system based on Linux.

This new joint venture is called Tizen and it’s a fusion of Intel’s MeeGo mobile operating system and Samsung’s LiMo software.

While many pundits have said the deal sounds the death knell for MeeGo it seems more like a case of ‘MeeGo is dead, Long Live MeeGo.’

Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation points out that like MeeGo, the Tizen platform will focus on HTML5-based applications and the aim is for it to work on a variety devices.

At one level the move can be seen as an attempt to break up the duopoly of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS software in the mobile-device market.

While it’s clearly very early days for Tizen, for developers, in the long term, Softtalkmobile thinks its good news.

Samsung is a hefty device manufacturer and to date it has developed smartphones and tablets on other companies’ operating systems.

Intel is the world’s biggest chip giant and is determined to break into the smartphone and tablet device market for its processors. It can throw an enormous amount of muscle behind things and I wouldn’t bet against it achieving its objectives.

That said, MeeGo has been a bit of a sorry tale, but in truth the fact that it didn’t really take off can largely be ascribed to Nokia’s market meanderings.

The Scandinavian device manufacturer has lost its way recently across many areas of its business. Its failure to give MeeGo the attention it deserved is just one example.

However, Samsung is a different proposition and armed with experience and motivation, and Intel’s firm grip on the future of mobile computing, at Softtalkmobile we reckon these two heavyweights will make a significant impact in the market.

Of course this isn’t going to happen overnight, Tizen is slated for release, in the first quarter of 2012, and it’s likely to be slow burn affair.

For sure, MeeGo has had its detractors and some of its critics have been searingley caustic about the Intel/Samsung tie up. But within the context of a device marketplace that is evolving at a staggeringly fast pace and an eye to the future in which computing will no longer be defined by the use of computers alone, Tizen seems like a good bet.

Let’s face it, how many people are going to want to be dependent upon the Android and iOS when the device market place truly opens up beyond smartphones and tablets? Developers are going to want platforms that ensure software can smoothly transit from a tablet to a smartphone to a smart TV to in-car entertainment systems or whichever device is being snapped up by people.

Today, developers may not think like this. Their focus is surely on the platform that offers the highest returns in terms of money and exposure. But listen up a minute.

Recently, there’s been a fair bit of talk about the post-digital world. Briefly the post-digital world is characterised by a ‘who cares’ what the OS is or the software – just let the device do its thing with the apps people want to use.

For example, when you go on a road trip you don’t spend hours twittering about the marvels of the combustion engine. In a post-digital world people won’t care about the OS.

Here at Softtalkmobile, we reckon that once the dust settles, the chattering ceases and Tizen-based devices begin appearing, Tizen will be a signpost OS that lets developers develop for any device and lets users use their favourite apps on any device.

Ok, we’re sticking our necks out, but we’re not looking at today, tomorrow or even next year – we’re taking the long view and the long view is emergence into the post digital world.

This blog post is written by Softtalkmobile, and is sponsored by the Intel AppUp developer program, a single channel for distributing apps to multiple devices, multiple operating systems, and multiple app stores.

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