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Samsung to merge Bada with Tizen

16th January 2012

 Tizen and Bada Remember Tizen? This is the OS project formed last year by the merger of LiMo and MeeGo, the latter of which was the unfruitful union of Maemo and Moblin. Well, according to reports in Forbes, Samsung are now going to merge their Bada OS with Tizen, which is also in turn supported by Samsung.

Don't worry if this sounds confusing: because it really is a mess. Tizen has yet to produce a working device running their operating system, and it is built on the largely failed platforms of MeeGo (as found on the Nokia N9) and LiMo (as found on the Vodafone 360 H1). Bada has been more successful, but it only holds about 2% of the market through handsets such as the Samsung Wave 3.

The reasoning behind the proposed merger is simple - Samsung currently support Windows, Android and Bada smartphones, in the past they have also had LiMo handsets (which accounts for their support of Tizen), and they have also supported Symbian and even dabbled with Palm OS devices as well. Merging the Tizen and Bada lines will simplify Samsung's portfolio and will certainly help with boosting the uptake of Tizen.

 Tizen Bada merger The problem is that Tizen is essentially building on failure rather than success. The whole MeeGo project damaged Nokia immensely, and LiMo has virtually zero market share. MeeGo's predecessors weren't much better, with Moblin never really getting to market and the once-promising Maemo platform being prematurely killed off before it could hit the big time. Compared with this record of failure, Bada is a relative success.

Because Bada is derived from Linux, as is Tizen, then allowing Bada applications to run on Tizen should certainly be possible. It is not likely that existing Bada handsets will receive an upgrade though, and we doubt that we would see any devices running Tizen until the end of the year.

At best, Tizen can only hope to be the third place operating system in the mobile phone market. This merger with Bada may help to do that, or alternatively it may just be vapourware that will backfire badly on Samsung's in-house OS efforts. Only time will tell.

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