The mobile operating system with the unfortunate name was released in version 1.0 about a week ago, and Samsung is now giving away phones which run the OS (to attendees of the Tizen Developer Conference). The 1.0 version comes with the somewhat ridiculous code name: “Larkspur”. I suggest they just call it T1, and stick to the Chrome and Firefox release model. By the end of the year, they’ll have reached T800, and it will sound cool. Anyway.

The Tizen OS is a merger between the LiMo OS (from the LiMo Foundation) and Intel’s (and previously Nokia’s) MeeGo, the later itself a merge between Maemo and Moblin. Their release announcement is sparse on details, but the front page for the source code section has more interesting details.

Here’s a few highlights from the list:

  • Peer to Peer connection with Wi-Fi Direct device.
  • Window system based on the X11 open source project
  • Composite window manager based on EFL open source project
  • Multimedia framework based on the GStreamer open source project
  • Audio decoder: AAC, MP3, WMA 7/8, WAV, Vorbis, AMR-NB / AMR-WB
  • Audio encoder: Vorbis, AMR-NB
  • Video decoder: MPEG-1, MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, On2 VP3, Theora
  • W3C/HTML5 specifications support

By including established FOSS projects and technologies like X11, GStreamer, OGG Vorbis, Theora, it is from the get-go a much stronger open source offering than Android ever was. Furthermore, in basing much of their core components on standard GNU/Linux projects, one would hope they follow the design of its predecessors and stricture around package repositories. Meego had a RPM repository, and it would be great to have the same upgrade mechanism on a phone, rather than the limited functionality of an “app market”.

The source code is on Git, and they have a bit of developer documentation. Guess it’s time to download and try.