Open source Linux-based operating system Tizen is now in partnership with 36 companies including eBay, Konami, McAfee, Panasonic, and The Weather Channel. The deal was announced by the Tizen Association, which says it aims to broaden support for the OS.
The operating system is born from the ashes of Intel and Nokia's MeeGo, and bolstered by Samsung, which folded its own Bada OS into Tizen in February of this year. The Tizen Association is made up of executives from a small group of companies, with Samsung and Intel best represented by officers and directors.
NTT Docomo's Ryoichi Sugimura — also a Tizen Association board member — said the "absence of application or feature mandates" was particularly beneficial when providing the best for the Japanese carrier's customers. NTT Docomo has stated its preference to work with the similarly open Android in the past, as it allows the carrier to customize smartphones with its preferred apps.
Tizen has been demonstrated in action on smartphones, but Trevor Cornwell emphasized the operating system's potential application with other devices, saying Tizen "extends beyond the smartphone and tablet ecosystem to a wider array of other connected device segments." In addition to a smartphone and tablet OS, Tizen touts itself as a software platform for netbooks, smart TV, and in-vehicle entertainment.
The Samsung NX300 camera is currently the only device to ship with Tizen
The only device that currently ships with Tizen is a camera. In March, Tizen Experts established that the Samsung NX300 ran the OS, but hid it behind user interfaces similar to the camera's predecessors'. No commercially available phones or tablets currently run Tizen out of the box, although many device manufacturers have announced plans to utilize the OS in the future.
Samsung — which could be toying with the idea of pulling away from its reliance on Android — confirmed it would launch multiple devices that utilized the OS in 2013 before teasing a high-end Tizen phone with a release date in September or October. Samsung arguably delivered with the NX300 — a Tizen-running camera that pretends it's not running Tizen — but the other devices have yet to materialize.