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Upstart Mobile OS Tizen Previews Code

An alpha release of the source code for the Tizen open-source operating system, aimed at giving Android and iOS a run for their money, is now available for download.

Backed by Intel, Samsung and other vendors, Tizen is a Linux-based platform. It includes an HTML5 application framework and a customizable user interface, in addition to the operating system. The interface, also called a "user experience," will be able to move among the different devices that Tizen supports.

The software is to be included in a variety of devices, from smartphones and tablets to smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle information systems. Intel said in September that it planned to back the project, after deciding to cut support for the MeeGo operating system.

Tizen's alpha release is targeted at smartphones and tablets, and it "runs on the PC emulator," according to the project's website . "We will have full source code for smartphones, tablets and additional device[s], with a reference user experience, available in the coming weeks and months," the site said.

The source code is, however, a "very early preview" and isn't meant to be used for designing production applications. Rather, the release is intended to help developers become familiar with the platform.

The Tizen project is hosted by the Linux Foundation and governed by a technical steering group. When Tizen was announced in September, backers said the first release would be available in the first quarter of this year, with Tizen-based devices expected in mid-2012.

A group called the Tizen Association was set up to guide development of the software platform; representatives of Intel, NTT DoCoMo and other companies are on its board of directors.

Intel hasn't abandoned Android. The vendor is working with Motorola on Android devices built with its Atom processors .

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about operating systems in Computerworld's Operating Systems Topic Center.


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