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The first smartphones running the Linux-based Tizen operating system could hit the streets later this year, although some folks have questioned whether Tizen devices will ever really see the light of day.
The open source operating system is backed by Intel and Samsung, and the companies appear to be putting a little more money where their mouths are — they’re launching a Tizen App Challenge, which offers more than 4 million dollars in prizes to developers who bring their apps to the Tizen platform.
There are 9 categories and 54 prizes in all. Top prizes of $200,000 will go to first place winners in the games categories, with smaller amounts reserved for runners up. Developers who write productivity, media, social networking, or other apps can compete for prizes up to $120,000.
Right now Tizen is designed to appeal to two camps: users who like the idea of an open source operating system that’s not tightly controlled by Google, and device makers and carriers who like the idea of any operating system that they have more control over than Google does.
But for the vast majority of users, control over the look, feel, and even behavior of a phone isn’t the issue. What they want to know is if they’ll be able to use their phone for common tasks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, web surfing, and gaming.
Tizen phones don’t necessarily need to have an App Store-like list of nearly a million games and apps available on day one. But if the Tizen app marketplace doesn’t have at least a few great apps right out of the gate, there won’t be much reason for anybody to spend money on a Tizen device.
Samsung is expected to launch one of the first Tizen phones in Japan later this year (and possibly in other markets), and Japanese company Shisutena plans to launch a 10-inch tablet running Tizen.
“But for the vast majority of users, control over the look, feel, and even behavior of a phone isn’t the issue.”
I beg to differ…
I haven’t got a single person among friends who doesn’t go to lengths to control what their phone does and what the interface looks like. Everybody I know uses utilities that alter or change some annoying behaviour of the phone.
And guess what, even my 87 year old grandmother ended up with a launcher my brother installed for her, to make some detail easier for her to get along with.
Every family has someone into tech, who will 1) recommend what to get to everyone else and 2) set it up for them.
So while tech heads may not be the majority, they still influence the rest of the people. That’s why Microsoft has so much trouble: The tech-savvy say “don’t get that one” to their family members, so what the sales guy in the store says, with his Microsoft funded Windphone marketing training falls on deaf ears.
You mean, Google, MS, and Apple funded marketing training falls on deaf ears… No reason to single out MS when it’s a distant third to Google and Apple marketing!
While the level of control Tizen can provide for users goes beyond simple things like custom launchers anyway!
Always good to have competition. The consumer wins after all.
Tizen is going to need at least a couple killer apps to make people choose it over Android. Along with a killer device. From what I’ve read about it so far, development for it might appeal to some though, as you can build apps in C++.
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