Merging OSes

via Gruber,

Samsung to Merge Bada With Intel-Backed Tizen:

“We have an effort that will merge Bada and Tizen,” a Samsung spokesman confirmed.

Tizen (from the same article):

In September [2011] two Linux software groups, one backed by Samsung, and another by Intel, agreed to jointly develop Tizen, a new operating system for cellphones and other devices, by merging their LiMo and Meego platforms [..]

MeeGo (from wikipedia):

[..] announced at Mobile World Congress in February 2010 by Intel and Nokia in a joint press conference. The stated aim is to merge the efforts of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo former projects into one new common project.

I really don’t see how it can fail.

Mobile platforms and application development

In the mobile world, what have we done? We created a series of elegant technology platforms optimized just for mobile computing. We figured out how to extend battery life, start up the system instantly, conserve precious wireless bandwidth, synchronize to computers all over the planet, and optimize the display of data on a tiny screen

Wow. Pity they never released any of that stuff and we had to put up with Windows Mobile and Symbian.

This doesn’t undermine the core argument, though. Web applications suck on mobile devices – when you’re underground, or there’s no signal, you just can’t use them. And mobile web browsers (other than the iPhone’s) are nasty. None of this matters, because they’re easier to write, easier to deploy, and I don’t have to faff for 3 weeks to get a developer certificate to sign my app so it’ll run.

Aside – last time I tried to get a Symbian developer certificate (naturally, the free ones are IMEI-locked and you have to pay money if you want to distribute something) the website was utterly broken, took minutes per page load, and eventually told me that they weren’t giving out developer certificates this week and please try again later. When it’s easier to jailbreak your iPhone and write apps for it than it is to legitimately develop for Nokia phones, something is wrong.

This is why I believe that the iPhone SDK will be nothing cleverer than off-line enabling of web apps. Recent buzz is sounding like it’s closer to being a Real SDK, though. I think this would be a pity. I’d much rather have a standards-based platform that could be implemented by other phone providers at this point.