Tizen project releases preview of open source OS code

The Intel- and Samsung-backed project did not disclose when full mobile operating system will be released.

The Tizen project, which is developing an open-source operating system for devices like smartphones and tablets, is offering a download of the alpha release of the source code of the operating system.

Backed by Intel and Samsung and other vendors, Tizen is proposed to be a Linux-based open source software platform, including an operating system, HTML5 application framework and customizable user experience. The software is expected to be designed into a variety of devices including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Intel said in September it was backing the project, after deciding to cut support for a project to develop the MeeGo operating system along with Nokia.

The alpha release of the operating system source code is targeted at smartphones and tablet devices and runs on the PC emulator, the Tizen project said on its website. "We will have full source code for smartphones, tablets and additional device targets with a reference user experience available in the coming weeks and months," it said.

The Tizen project however cautioned developers that the release was a very early preview and not yet designed for use to create production applications.

The project also released this week to application developers its Tizen alpha SDK (software development kit). The revision of the API (application programming interface) is still in progress, but the Tizen project is releasing it to offer application developers early access.

"Along with the alpha SDK, we are releasing the Tizen source code so that application developers can explore the platform in detail," it said. More information will be available soon.

The Tizen project is hosted by Linux Foundation and is governed by a technical steering group, which includes representatives of Intel and Samsung. The Linux Foundation and LiMo Foundation, an industry consortium backing an operating system based on mobile Linux for small devices like mobile phones, announced the project in September last year.

A Tizen Association was set up this month to guide the development of the Tizen software platform. It has representatives of Intel, Samsung, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Vodafone and four other companies as members of its board of directors. The Linux Foundation and LiMo said in September that the first release of Tizen is targeted for the first quarter of this year, with first devices expected in the market in mid-2012.

Intel said on Tuesday that it is working with Motorola Mobility on Android smartphones and other devices running its Atom processors. Lenovo also announced an Android phone for the China market that uses the new Atom processor Z2460, formerly code-named "Medfield".

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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