Samsung joins Linux Foundation, pledges $500K to support open source
Samsung Electronics has joined the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees the open-source Linux operating system.
Samsung signs on as a platinum member, paying $500,000 per year in exchange for a seat on the Linux Foundation board of directors. Samsung will collaborate with the association to streamline its participation with the kernel community and adopt open source best practices.
Samsung employs Linux software across many of its products, most notably smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system. Jim Zemlin, an executive director of the Linux Foundation, told The New York Times that Samsung's commitment to Linux will help the manufacturer more effectively compete with rivals like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). "Apple, perceived as the most closed and proprietary software company in the world, is incredibly good at open source. It's in everything they make," Zemlin said. "Samsung is doing the same thing with Linux in order to make better, faster, cheaper software."
Samsung's support for Linux likely will renew speculation around the company's plans for its own bada smartphone operating system. Earlier this year, Samsung Senior Vice President Tae-Jin Kang told Forbes that the firm will merge bada with the Linux-based Tizen software platform, adding the integration process is already underway. But Samsung quickly issued a denial, stating it is considering such a move but has not yet reached an official decision.
Weeks later, Samsung said it plans to "significantly" increase investment in bada, pitching the platform as an alternative to Android. "We believe [bada] is a good platform to build on," Samsung Senior Vice President of Product Strategy Juha Park told Bloomberg during an interview at the Mobile World Congress 2012 conference. "We want to have a full range of portfolio for bada, from high-end to mass-volume segments."
Samsung introduced bada in late 2009, targeting Europe and emerging markets. The manufacturer has not yet introduced a bada device for the U.S. market. Last fall, The Wall Street Journal reported Samsung planned to open bada to other manufacturers and software developers, a move to accelerate growth of the platform while also distancing the company from its reliance on Android.
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