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Monthly Buzz – n°4

Apart from an open source language for programming cells and the announcement of Chromecast, a small HDMI stick to stream content on your TV, July was a pretty quiet month (as usual).

In my very first article, I briefly talked about emerging Mobile Operating Systems (OS) like Ubuntu and Firefox OS. So this month I will take a closer look at the list of challenger in the field of Mobile OS:


Tizen: Tizen is an open source, Linux based Mobile OS that is developed by the Linux Foundation and Samsung. It was started after Nokia got rid of Meego in favor of Windows Mobile. But so far, we haven’t seen a lot of it. Knowing that Samsung is organizing a Developer conference soon (like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Dropbox, …) some might think that Samsung is trying to divorce from Google and create its own OS. Is Tizen going to replace Android?



Ubuntu: Ubuntu for phone and tablet was unveiled end of 2012. It wanted to fix all the issues that existing Mobile OS had: hardware button, no swipe based gesture, concept of “lock screen”, etc. Ubuntu has been running on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus for the current demonstrations. But Canonical, decided to move forward, and ask the community to “crowd-found” a High End Smartphone with the spec of a Netbook (4Go of RAM, 128 Go of ROM, Fastest processor, …). This crowd-founding campaign is very ambitious: they need $32,000,000 in 30 days; I let you do the math.



Firefox OS: Firefox OS is offering a very simple lightweight OS for low end Smartphone, with security update every six weeks and four feature releases per year. So far the Mozilla Foundation managed to convince mobile operator like Telephonica or Deutsche Telecom and constructor like ZTE, Alcatel or GeeksPhone. Firefox OS phones are currently available in Spain and Germany, for less than 200€.



Jolla and the other half: Jolla is a Swedish company that was created after Nokia abandoned Meego. Some of Nokia’s engineer decided to leave the company and use their expertise to build a brand new Mobile OS: Sailfish OS. Jolla is trying to offer a brand new user experience that is said to be fully customizable, using what they call “The Other Half”. Jolla didn’t just build a Mobile OS, they also built the Smartphone to run it (like Apple did with the iPhone). The particularity of this Smartphone is that it has a removable back cover that can affect the user experience of the OS: “The Other Half”. One of many examples of usage is that you could buy a “Other Half” with your favorite Sport team’s logo on it, and all the user experience would change accordingly (color, font, wallpaper, ringtones, …).



Last but not least, Windows Phone 8: Windows Phone 8 is already in a good place to be the third most used Mobile OS. Microsoft is working closely with Nokia to offer very high-end Smartphones competing with the latest Apple or Samsung “flagships”.


Charles Bonneau
Twitter: @charlesbonneau


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