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Tizen 2.0 operating system released to developers

The Intel and Samsung backed operating system is seen as potential competition to Android in some markets

Tizen, the open-source project backed by Intel and Samsung Electronics, has released to software developers and device makers the software development kit and source code for a new version of its operating system.

The Tizen 2.0 release includes many new features and improvements over Tizen 1.0 released in April, and Tizen 2.0 alpha in September last year, including HTML5 application programming interfaces (APIs) and a new native framework, the project's technical steering group said in a blog post on Monday.

Tizen is supported by a number of mobile operators, device manufacturers, and silicon makers and is targeted at devices such as smartphones, tablets, in-vehicle infotainment devices and smart TVs.

There have been reports recently that Samsung is planning a line of phones built around the Tizen operating system, to reduce its dependence on Android after Google acquired mobile phone competitor Motorola Mobility.

Intel said in September, 2011 it was backing the Tizen project, after deciding to cut support for a project to develop the MeeGo operating system along with Nokia.

New features of Tizen 2.0 include a Web UI framework, including full-screen and multi-window support, and additional Tizen device APIs, such as Bluetooth and NFC (near-field communication) support, and access to the device's calendar, call history, and messaging subsystems. The release also has core and native reference applications including calendar, contacts, gallery, phone, settings, and video player. The native framework supports full-featured application development and provides features such as background applications, IP Push, and TTS (Text-To-Speech), according to the blog post.

The board of Tizen Association, which guides the industry role of Tizen, includes equipment makers like Huawei, Intel, NEC, Samsung, and operators such as NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, and Sprint. The board works with the Linux Foundation which runs the open source project.

The next version of the operating system, Tizen 2.1, will be released in the second quarter of this year, but will be a minor release, and will contain new features and performance enhancement without API modifications or removal. The main features of Tizen 2.1 will include account management, application installing service, livebox support, performance optimization, and a security enhancement, Tizen project said in its release notes.

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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