Smartphone operating systems: Alternative phone system Tizen speeds against Firefox OS, Microsoft Windows Phone
Both Firefox and Tizen are "open source" projects, managed by non-profit associations. That means the software is freely available to customize, giving phone carriers control over how the software works on the phones they sell. By contrast, Apple maintains complete control over the workings of the iOS software in iPhones.
The idea to create an "open" phone operating system is not new. In fact, Android is an open-source project run by Google. However, one controlled by a non-profit has never been successful. Tizen is based on two failed attempts, MeeGo and LiMo. Frederic Dufal, the technical director of handsets at Orange, said The LiMo Foundation, the most broad-based attempt, was set up in a way that made it very hard for the interested parties to reach consensus. The nitty-gritty of getting Tizen to work is handled by the independent Linux Foundation instead, which has a history of shepherding the creation of effective software.
"We\'ve learned from the mistakes of the past," Dufal said.
The Tizen Association said the phones will launch with a store with thousands of applications.